IRVING, Texas — A large section of a parking garage in Irving spontaneously collapsed Tuesday morning and was followed by an additional collapse a few hours later, but miraculously it appears there were no injuries.
"I'm sitting at my desk and I hear a low rumble, and then as I look over my shoulder I just see the upper deck come crashing down. It was just unbelievable," said a witness.
The initial collapse of the garage at 4545 Fuller Drive damaged 21 cars, with those on the bottom being completely crushed.
So, what could have caused it to happen? With no evidence of a specific trigger, it was likely a combination of factors.
"We're in a very dry time right now so we don't know if it's a shifting of the soils; we deal with that commonly in North Irving," said Irving assistant fire chief J. Taylor after the first collapse. "Plus, we live on a fault line [and] we do have tremors from time to time, so we have all these things that play together and it can cause a spontaneous drop."
If this story is giving you some deja vu, you're right. In October 2015 a parking garage in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas also collapsed, and it also miraculously happened when no one was inside.
While the destruction was fast, the cleanup will be slow. First, the remaining structure has to be deemed safe enough for investigators to enter, then an investigation into the cause will take place, then there is literally tons of material to remove.
"This is probably going to take weeks," said Taylor. "It's going to be a lot of mess, kind of a quagmire of red tape that's going to be involved with this."