0

Portion of parking deck collapses in Atlanta

ATLANTA - Part of a six-floor parking deck at a building near downtown Atlanta collapsed Monday, crushing cars, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Firefighters were inspecting the building to make sure it was safe before finishing their search for possible victims, said Atlanta firefighter Bobby Stewart, one of about 50 firefighters who descended on the scene after the lunchtime incident. It appeared the fourth level of the deck had collapsed to the ground floor.

"It sounded like the building was being demolished," said Shawn Dodson, who was eating lunch in his car on the far side of the building. "I ran around, saw a hole and thought the building was collapsing."

About 10 mangled vehicles were visible from the outside, but officials expected dozens more cars were buried underneath the rubble. The parking deck is close to a book store and gym frequented by students from nearby Georgia Tech.

People who had parked in the deck peeked through a chain-link fence trying to get a glimpse of their cars as firefighters inspected the structure. Employees from a nearby lounge handed out water as temperatures climbed to near 90 degrees.

The parking deck is a standalone structure that connects to an office building through a pedestrian walkway, which was not damaged.