A man was airlifted to the hospital after he was rescued from the debris of a partially collapsed wall Monday morning at Fort Leavenworth, officials said.
The construction worker’s injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to fort spokeswoman Rebecca Steed.
The collapse occurred at about 9:30 a.m. Monday on the grounds of the old U.S. Disciplinary Barracks.
A three-story building that has been vacant for several years is undergoing renovations so it can be used for administration and classroom space, according to Bill Waugh, director of public works at the fort.
He said contract workers have been pouring concrete walls on the inside of the building. And for some reason, a section of bricks from the outer wall fell Monday as concrete was being poured on the inside the structure. The worker who became trapped was outside the building.
“Right now, we don’t know why it fell,” Waugh said.
Among the people who responded were Pfc. Jeremy Warren and Spc. Jared Pollard. They work as medics at the Munson Army Health Center at Fort Leavenworth. They happened to be a few blocks away from the old USDB at the Provost Marshal Office when they heard there’d just been a collapse.
“We saw the dust cloud,” Warren said.
The two men ran to the scene and assisted with the rescue. Warren said the worker had become buried under bricks, mortar, wood and concrete that was still wet.
“We were talking to him,” Pollard said.
Outside agencies assisted with the rescue including the Leavenworth Fire Department and Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1. Leavenworth County EMS personnel also responded, according to Rick Huhn, chief of Fire District No. 1.
He said firefighters from several other departments in the region also were asked to respond as members of a search and rescue task force for northeast Kansas.
Steed said the trapped man was rescued within two hours.
Waugh said the Army Corps of Engineers will investigate what caused the collapse. The contractor working on the project will do its own investigation.
The building, which is designated Building 467, was constructed in 1887, according to information provide by Steed.
It’s located on the southwest corner of the old USDB grounds. Inmates are no longer housed at this location. The U.S. Disciplinary now operates out of a newer facility at a different location on Fort Leavenworth.