Collapsed parking structure missed November inspection

- The top level of a parking garage partially collapsed in downtown Detroit Thursday morning and city officials say it missed an inspection just a few months ago.

It happened in the 1400 block of Woodbridge Street, near Jefferson Avenue and the Detroit River Walk. A fire official says no injuries have been reported. 

Salina Ali parks there all the time and was stunned when it happened.

Part of parking garage partially collapses in downtown Detroit

"Flabbergasted. Everybody was like what happened, what happened is everybody safe? Once we found out everybody was safe, just (wanted to know) what happened," Ali said. "Some staff had just walked in the building right after they walked in when it collapsed."

The way the structure is designed, no cars were parked under the portion that collapsed.

Once emergency crews determined no one hurt, engineers were called to the scene to evaluate damage

The city's Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Department says the structure was due for a bi-annual inspection 6 months ago but it was never performed because the inspector assigned to it was off work due to a serious illness.

Detroit Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell explained the problem.

"It's concrete. Like anything else, materials can deteriorate over time and, in this particular case, it just deteriorated over time and that weight and the weight of the structure just caused it to let loose," he said. 

Ali and Decy Barajas work for Matrix Human Services nearby and park in the structure. When we talked to them Thursday, they were anxious to get their cars.

"It looks like it's fine. My only concern is what damage could have happened underneath. I don't how the impact was, if it was slow going or just dropped," Barajas said.

As for Ali, her car was stuck hanging over the edge. 

"They didn't know if they could move my car. I couldn't go to my car because they weren't sure if it was structurally sound," she said.

Crews were eventually able to safely move Ali's car.

The city says it will be taking a look at this structure and all others that may have missed inspections.

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