LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Four people were injured when the front of a La Bonita Supermarket collapsed Friday morning at a strip shopping center near Desert Inn Road and Eastern Avenue.
One of the injured people was rescued from the rubble by Clark County firefighters. All four were transported to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
“They’re very fortunate. Later in the day, it might have been a different story,” said Clark County Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Broadwell.
Photos from the scene show debris in front of the building. The collapse was reported around 6:20 a.m.
The damage appears to be confined to the front of the building. Chief Broadwell said the store had no interior damage and other businesses were not impacted.
8 News Now reached out to La Bonita management.
They released a statement regarding Friday’s awning collapse.
Our Desert Inn location will remain closed until further notice. All employees will be given the day off fully paid and offered any medical or emotional support services if needed. Once they are ready, they will be rolcated to another location until we can reopen Desert Inn store.”Armando Martinez, General Manager of La Bonita Supermarkets
Yogi B. was an eyewitness who said he was driving his children to school when he saw the collapse.
“Water shooting out the side of the building, people running from the building. It was crazy,” he said. “I was just praying nobody was injured.”
Chief Broadwell said 45 fire personnel responded to the call including a heavy rescue team.
Employees from La Bonita had to evacuate from the back of the store.
Adolfo Navarret who works in La Bonita was drinking some coffee outside the store when he saw the windows begin to shake and initially thought it was an earthquake.
“As I turn around, I saw a bunch of debris and dust like coming my way. I back up and as I am backing up, I see the ceiling fall down,” he said. “Thankfully nobody inside the store got hurt.”
8 News Now reached out to the property manager of Francisco Center, where La Bonita is located.
They also issued a statement below on the collapse.
The safety and security of our shoppers, tenants and employees is our top priority. While we don’t have details to share at this time as to the cause of the incident, we’re working closely with our tenant and local offficals in their investigation.”Jennifer Maisch, Kimco Realty, Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Communications
It’s unknown at this time what caused the collapse. Thunderstorms in the valley overnight produced windy conditions that may have been a factor.
8 News Now spoke to Rhonda Cervantes, a civil engineer with Owner Envision Consulting and asked how something like this could happen.
“I’ve seen things that have failed before, but not to this magnitude,” Cervantes said.
“It could be members failing, it also could be connections failing, or things that get weakened over time,” she added.
While design flaws, a saturated roof from recent rain or the building’s age could all be contributing factors, Cervantes calls an event like this unheard of.
“That’s why there are such important design factors that we as engineers have to use so these things don’t happen,” she said.
Photos sent in by viewer David Murphy and a photo from an RTC camera showed the damage Friday morning.
The store will remain closed and no one is allowed inside. Employees could be sent to work at other store locations.