Nov. inspection of collapsed parking deck skipped
Detroit — A scheduled November inspection didn't get done on a parking deck that collapsed Thursday because an inspector was sick, a city official said.
David Bell, director of Detroit's Buildings Safety Engineering and Environmental Department, said the parking deck was last inspected in November 2015. It was due for a biennial inspection last November, but the inspector never made it "due to a serious illness."
There were no structural issues found in the 2015 inspection. But the city will be reviewing other structures assigned to that inspector, who hasn't been to work since at least November due to illness.
Bell's statement said the city " ... will make certain they are revisited as soon as possible."
The collapse took place between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Thursday at 1400 Woodbridge, said Kerrie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Matrix Human Services, which rents space at the facility. The area is south of East Jefferson.
Eight vehicles were affected in the collapse, including a black Ford SUV that landed on its side. A ninth vehicle, a blue SUV, dangled close to the edge of the collapse Thursday afternoon.
Salina Ali, who works at Matrix, owns a blue 2016 Chevy Trax that was close to falling in the collapse.
Ali writhed with uncertainty as a tow truck operator worked to pull the SUV to safety.
“I’m freaking out right now,” she said Thursday afternoon. “I don’t want it to fall in the ditch.”
After about five minutes of wrangling, the tow operator was able to pull the Trax to safety. Ali was able to drive herself home.
Deizy Barajas, 27, was not as fortunate. Her silver Volkswagen Beetle fell through the collapsed deck along with the seven other vehicles.
Martix employees reported hearing a loud booming noise during the collapse.
“It’s going to be OK,” Barajas said afterward. “I’m just happy no one was hurt.”
Craig Dashner, a construction manager at OHM Advisors, an architectural and engineering firm in Livonia, said it's possible the structure collapsed from corrosion.
"From what I've seen in pictures, based on the area, it's an older structure and concrete cracks, water gets in there ... corrosion eats away at the steel and causes it to get overstressed and fall over time," Dashner said.
He added the process takes years, possibly decades, to be pushed to that extent.
"For it to get that bad, it could take decades. ... It wouldn't be apparent that the issue was happening until it was really bad," Dashner said.