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Parking structure partially collapses at Wisconsin mall

Emergency crews were dispatched to a mall in eastern Wisconsin at around noon on Thursday, responding to the scene of a collapsed parking garage.
Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 23, 2023

Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene of a collapsed parking garage Thursday just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the town of Glendale on the shore of Lake Michigan. 

The parking structure for the area's Bayshore Mall collapsed like "pancake" on Thursday, and emergency crews said they were dispatched just after 12 p.m. Authorities said no injuries were immediately reported, according to Scripps News Milwaukee.

Multiple departments responded, including the Milwaukee Fire Department, a special collapse team and a heavy urban rescue team.

First responders found that a third floor of the structure had collapsed onto the second, causing the second floor to collapse onto the first in a "pancake-like collapse," according to North Shore Fire and Rescue Chief Robert Whittaker. Officials identified two vehicles in the collapse zone, but it was unclear if anyone was in the cars or walking directly in the area where parking structure collapsed.

Chief Whittaker said he was fairly confident, based on security footage, there was likely no one in the collapse zone. Crews were working with engineers to ensure the structure was not at risk of collapsing further as roads in the area were closed off and traffic was diverted to other roadways.

People in the area said they were not immediately given information on when it would be safe to retrieve their vehicles or to find out if they had been damaged. 

Chief Whittaker said it could take months for people to retrieve their vehicles from inside. A ramp that collapsed was the only entrance and exit in the structure. 

Milwaukee has experienced heavy snow and icy weather this week. Some areas saw up to a foot of snow this week.

“We dodged a bullet on this one, we certainly did,” Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy said during the news conference.

The garage was built between 2005 and 2006. In a statement, Bayshore Mall said it was "aware that there was a partial collapse," and said "we are not aware of any injuries at this time." 

This story was originally published by Scripps News Milwaukee.