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Investigation continues into Parma underground car park collapse: Photos

PARMA, Ohio — Two weeks after the partial collapse of an underground parking garage at 5800 Laurent Drive, Fire Chief Michael Lasky said the investigation is continuing.

“Two cars, for lack of a better term, were trapped and simply restrained by their bumpers,” Lasky said. “We were able to get all the cars off the bridge, so there’s nothing else on it now and there’s nothing under it.

“The structural engineer is currently assessing the incident. We hope to have a report by next week.

At 11:45 p.m. on May 3, a tenant parked his car in the above ground parking garage. Moments later, the vehicle was hanging precariously.

“The guy was smoking when all the cement under his car fell apart,” Lasky said. “It was a shock. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Then the same thing happened to the car next to it in the same 20ft by 20ft area.

“When we got there we were afraid there would be more, so we evacuated all the cars on the top of the bridge and got as many cars out of that area as we could.”

Parma firefighters and police removed all vehicles from the immediate parking area to reduce the load on the structure. No injuries were reported in the incident.

The fire chief estimated the Laurent Drive facility could hold more than 150 cars underground.

The Parma incident comes more than five months after the Marine Towers West parking lot collapsed in Lakewood.

“It’s a bit ironic because in January the building manager emailed his inspectors saying in light of what happened in Lakewood to make sure they look at all the underground parking lots “, said Lasky.

“It’s the only one we have that’s underground in Parma, so they were already looking at that and paying attention to things that needed to be done by (the management company) Regency to deal with it.”

According to the fire chief, there had been previous reports of water leaks inside the underground portion of the garage.

“It’s always wet out there,” Lasky said. “The biggest thing we try to tell anyone else, if you see anything – even if it’s minor – report it, because maybe we could have stopped it.”

Read more news from the Parma Sun Post.

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins