Three people died and nine others were injured Wednesday in a severe collapse of a hangar under construction at an airport in Boise, Idaho, the fire department said.
The names of the dead, who officials said died at the scene, were not immediately released. Five of the nine injured are in critical condition, the fire department said said in a statement.
Boise Fire Chief Aaron Hummel told reporters that the steel-framed building at the Boise airport collapsed around 5 p.m. A crane was placing something on top of the building at the time of the collapse, he said.
“There was a massive collapse of the building, the structure of the building,” he said. “I don't know what's causing it, but I can tell you it's a pretty global decline.”
A total of 12 people were injured, including the dead, the fire department said. They were in or around the building at the time of the collapse, Hummel said.
He said that there were more than 30 people at that place and all were accounted for.
Efforts to evacuate people from collapsed structures were complicated in some cases and involved the use of missiles, he said.
The collapse remained under investigation Wednesday night, and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigator was at the scene, Hummel said.
Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hubb said that while the structure was on airport property, the project was not an airport project and construction was being done by a private party. It was an early stage project that only had the framework.
The collapse occurred in a new 39,000-square-foot steel hangar west of the existing Jackson Jet Center, the business said. Jackson Jet Center offers private jets and other services.
“Tonight, our hearts go out to all those affected by this horrific event, especially the loved ones on site when this tragedy occurred,” the agency said.
This is thanks to the efforts of the Boise Fire Department, Boise Police Department and Ada County Medical and Hospital staff.
“We do not know what caused the hangar collapse. Our focus is now on supporting our team and partners during this difficult time,” the company said.