3 Dead after Boise Building Collapses

08 Feb, 2024 Liz Carey

                               

Boise, ID (WorkersCompensation.com) – Three people working on a hangar at the Boise Airport are dead, and another nine were wounded, five critically, following the building’s collapse, officials said last week.

Aaron Hummel, chief of operations for the Boise Fire Department, said at a press conference that the building collapsed about 5 p.m. on Jan. 31. The building was a private hangar under construction, he said.

“There was a large-scale collapse of the building, the framework of the building,” Mr. Hummel said.

The hangar is privately owned by Jackson Jet Center, a charter flight and maintenance company. Officials said the collapse occurred during construction and that the collapse also brought down a crane.

“It was fairly catastrophic,” Hummel said.

According to the city of Boise, three people died at the scene, and a total of nine others were injured. Five of those injured were in critical condition, the city said in a statement. The names of the deceased and injure had not been released by Thursday evening. Boise Police said the incident was being handed over to OSHA for investigation.

“Yesterday was a tragic day for our Boise community. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones affected by this incident,” said Boise Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer. “I commend the actions of all the first responders for their quick and professional response rescuing victims and caring for patients in a chaotic and very dangerous environment.”

The structure was the frame of an engineered steel building that would have become a new hanger for Jackson Jet Center. Engineered buildings are common in industrial and warehouse construction, officials said, and this one was to be a single story tall. Video of the collapse showed mangled girders and a bent crane under what appeared to be the frame of the building. Typically, engineered buildings are kind of a standardized kit designed to be assembled on site. According to paperwork filed with the city, the hangar was supposed to be 39,000 square feet and be erected on a concrete foundation.

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“These hangars are necessary for continued Jackson Jet operations following the Boise Airport requiring Jackson Jet to vacate their existing hangars in order to accommodate planned airport parking facilities,” an application from Boise architecture firm Glancey, Rockwell and Associates, said according to the Idaho Statesman. According to the permitting application, the project was estimated to cost more than $8 million and was to include earth grading, a concrete foundation and the metal building.

Officials with the city said the steel frame of the building had been erected and crews were working on the structural components that would have tied the frame together when the building collapsed.

Officials said the victims would be identified by the Ada County Coroner’s Office after the next of kin had been identified.

"Our community is facing a profound loss after the hangar collapse last night. Our thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones and those who are awaiting news on those still in critical conditions,” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our first responders and emergency response teams for their quick, compassionate and professional actions last night and into today and we hold everyone involved in our hearts."

The city said it would be providing support to many of the first responders who responded to the incident. The Boise Airport Director, Rebecca Hupp, said the collapse did not impact the airport’s operations, but that the airport team sent condolences to those impacted.

“Yesterday’s tragic news of the hangar collapse was absolutely heartbreaking for our airport team and for our community,” she said. “Today we are thinking about the families that lost loved ones, our neighbors at Jackson Jet Center, and their contractor. Life is precious and every day is a gift.”

Officials with Jackson Jet Center said in a statement that their “hearts go out to everyone affected by this horrific event.”

“We do not know exactly what caused the hangar collapse,” the company said. “Our focus now is on supporting our team and partners during this difficult time.”

Inland Crane, the company that provided crane services to the construction project, said one crane was in service on site to place an end truss.

"When the building collapsed due to an unknown structural failure, the crane boom - the hydraulic arm of the equipment - snapped on impact,” the company said in a statement to KTVB. “Based on accounts of Inland Crane operators, construction workers on site, and the steel erecting contractor, we believe that no action by Inland Crane operators or the crane itself were cause for the structural failure of the hangar.”

Inland Crane said none of its employees were injured in the collapse.

“The well-being of our team is our utmost concern,” the company said. “While the collapse of the structure broke a crane, the crane operator and our team on site were not injured. We arranged counseling services for our team members and will continue to support them through this challenging time.”


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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