Building Collapses in Idaho, Leading to Search and Rescue

( – Three people have died, and nine others sustained injuries after an airport hangar collapsed in Boise, Idaho. So far, there’s no clue why the “fairly catastrophic” collapse happened. The disaster also disrupted traffic on a nearby interstate.

Just before 5 p.m. on January 31, a hangar under construction at Boise Airport suddenly collapsed. Boise Fire Division Chief Aaron Hummel described the collapse as “pretty global” and “fairly catastrophic.” Photos of the scene showed the large, incomplete building completely destroyed, with partially built wall sections leaning inwards at steep angles. Hummel said the collapsing building also brought down a crane used in its construction.

According to rescue workers, three people died as the hangar came down. Nine others received injuries, and doctors have classified five of them in critical condition. Chief Hummel said the incident needed an “incredibly large” response by emergency services. All the casualties were likely construction workers. Public relations consultant Jessica Flynn, whose company represents the hangar’s owner, confirmed that “dozens” of people were working on the site when the building collapsed.

Aircraft rental service Jackson Jet Center, a private company, owned the hanger despite its location on airport property. It was part of an $8.1 million project to expand the company’s charter flight operations in Boise and would have had a 39,000-square-foot capacity.

Chief Hummel said Wednesday night that the rescue was challenging because of victims trapped on an elevated platform inside the wreckage. However, the chief said first responders had now accounted for everyone at the scene when the accident happened. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation into the collapse. So far, it appears that workers erected the steel hangar frame, but the accident happened before they finished connecting it completely.

The collapse didn’t affect Boise Airport’s operations. However, traffic on the nearby section of Interstate 84 suffered delays.

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