It could have been a whole lot worse. That's the word from Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton after a building under construction at Willis Knighton North partially collapsed this morning.

Chief Wolverton told KEEL News at about 9:45 this morning, firefighters were called to the construction site in the 2700 block of Albert L. Bicknel. They found out the collapse happened as workers were pouring some concrete on an extension to the hospital.

"We had a report that there were 18 workers on site working at the time of the collapse. We were able to account for all 18," Wolverson said. "We did have nine total patients that were triaged, treated and either released on scene or transported to the area hospitals."

Wolverton commends Willis Knighton for putting its emergency action plan into place quickly prior to firefighters' arrival.

"Our first company got there on scene within two minutes, and Willis Knighton professionals were already working on two of the patients prior to us getting there," he said. "So it was a very cooperative effort between us and them to assure that all those patients were accounted for and taken care of and treated."

There were no life-threatening injuries and no firefighter injuries. The building under construction was an additional Intensive Care Unit for the hospital.

We also received this statement from Willis Knighton:

According to Chuck Daigle, chief operating officer of Willis-Knighton Health System, officials at Willis-Knighton are cooperating with authorities to investigate the partial collapse at a secured construction site that occurred this morning at Willis-Knighton Medical Center. No existing buildings or patient care areas were affected by the incident.

 

 

Daigle joined Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton at a news conference this morning. Wolverton reported on the efforts of his department, including the EMS distribution of the nine patients per their protocols. The site was an expansion of the ICU and surgical services at the medical center.