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News Maryland Baltimore County Dundalk

County releases 911 tapes from Sparrows Point building collapse

Baltimore County officials released three 911 calls Wednesday from the collapse of a steel mill building during demolition at Sparrows Point this week.

Thirteen people were inside the former cold mill building when it collapsed Monday morning. A crew of asbestos-removal workers was operating equipment that had them more than 40 feet in the air. Nine of them were taken to the hospital for injuries.

They were employed by MCM Management Corp., a demolition contractor based in Michigan. The Illinois-based Hilco Global is clearing the property and liquidating the former plant, which closed in 2012.

In the first call, an unidentified man frantically tries to explain to the 911 operator the location.

"RG Steel. The building collapsed. … Like four or five guys injured," he yells. The operator asks him the location, and he repeats: "RG Steel. Sparrows Point."

The operator repeats, "Sparrows Point? The old Bethlehem Steel?" and asks for an address as the call ends.

Another caller, a woman, tells a 911 operator, "We're in the middle of demolition so it's the tin mill area, near F gate."

The operator asks whether there were hazardous materials. She responds, "Most likely, yes."

She also asks, "Anyone trapped or injured?"

The caller responds, "I believe so."

Another woman, who identified herself as Brittany from MCM, gives an address of 1430 Sparrows Point Blvd.

"I think we need an ambulance, a firetruck and a rescue team. I'm not 100 percent sure on what's going on, but the guys are calling over the radio that they need people. They might have a fire, they might need somebody rescued."

The operator asks her, "Is this for a building that collapsed?"

The caller responds, "I'm not sure what's going on. I heard it over the radio and I'm just calling it in."

A statement from MCM on Tuesday night said that six of the nine injured workers had been released from area hospitals. Three remained hospitalized — one in critical condition. The company could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/janders5

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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