Recovery in the Danger Zone


Rescue and Recovery teams have been treading dangerous ground in the aftermath of the thunderous structural failure that ripped parts of International Nutrition into piles of rubble.

A team member from USA Search and Rescue described the site as a scene out of a disaster movie.

Battalion Chief Brad Thavenet said, “You saw the concrete structures from 9-11, not that this was by any means on the scale of that, but just to be able to witness that or after an earthquake event, where you have big heavy concrete slabs dangling up above you."

Tens of thousands of pounds of mangled metal and shattered concrete drape the site. Some pieces are swaying in the blustery wind held together by fretted strands of ½ inch rebar.

The scene as described by the leader of the 24 member search and rescue team made the work difficult and hazardous. They couldn’t reach all parts of the structure.

Thavenet said, “It could be just the sheer weight of the concrete that had sheared off, some of those concrete beams sit on top of concrete columns."

The recovery ended when the second and last body was removed from the building.

Omaha Interim Fire Chief Bernie Kanger said, “The Omaha Planning Department has placarded this structure as unsafe and dangerous, that nobody can enter the structure, the property owner is going to have secure the structure and provide security for this building."


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