1 killed in Holland Civic Center ceiling collapse

Second man seriously injured in collapse at construction site

Holland Civic Cener, ceiling collapse
The scene where one person was killed and another seriously injured in a partial ceiling collapse at the Holland Civic Center, which is under construction. (Aug. 1, 2017)


HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A man was killed Tuesday afternoon when part of the ceiling collapsed at the Holland Civic Center, which is undergoing renovations.

The Holland Department of Public Safety says the collapse happened around 3:10 p.m. and involved a small area near the front door. Responding police and firefighters found one person trapped under concrete debris and another injured nearby.

Holland Civic Center, ceiling collapse
The scene where one person was killed and another seriously injured in a partial ceiling collapse at the Holland Civic Center, which is under construction. (Aug. 1, 2017)

Firefighters freed the man who was trapped within about 15 minutes, Holland DPS Capt. Keith Mulder said, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second man was rushed to Holland Hospital with serious injuries. Holland Hospital told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday afternoon his condition was stable.

Neither man’s name was released Tuesday afternoon, but authorities said both were subcontractors working on the renovations.

The cause of the collapse is not yet known.

Holland Civic Center, ceiling collapse
The scene where one person was killed and another seriously injured in a partial ceiling collapse at the Holland Civic Center, which is under construction. (Aug. 1, 2017)

“It’s a very tragic accident and our hearts go out to the families,” Holland Mayor Nancy DeBoer said at an afternoon press conference. “The time right now is to think about them, share in their grief and pray for their families.”

When asked how the city would move forward, DeBoer replied, “One step at a time.”

“We’ll work it out and there will be an investigation,” she continued.

The Civic Center was built in 1954, DeBoer said. The construction project there has been underway since the spring and spans four square blocks between 8th and 9th streets. It includes expansion and improvements to the Farmers Market, gym renovations and new lighting and sound to the stage. The north hall is also being expanded to provide year-round indoor market space and more recreation space.

One of the lead contractors on the project is GDK. State records show that GDK was cited in February 2016 for duty to have fall protection and twice in March 2016 for asbestos violations — the only three citations in 14 inspections since 2013.