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Building Collapse on Main Street in Joplin

A 99 year old building lies in ruins after an overnight collapse.
JOPLIN, MO.--- A 99 year old building lies in ruins after an overnight collapse. City engineers say the best guess is that the roof was already damaged and sagging when the rain last night started the collapse in motion.

The Carl Adams Building in Joplin had been vacant for some time, officially boarded up through city permits in 2010. A 911 call about 2:00 this morning alerted police of the damage. No one was injured and the majority of the debris landed immediately around the building site.

 The block had seen similar damage last year when a fire next door led to the demolition of the Raines Brothers Building. The two structures had shared a common wall, but city workers say the 2012 demolition is not connected to today's collapse.

"The roof basically pulling the top of the wall in which thus kicked the lower part of the wall out. The fire, this wall being exposed now, probably didn't help the situation, but that wasn't the reason. It wasn't the fire that caused this issue," said Jack Schaller, Joplin Assistant Public Works Director.

City workers have already ruled the collapse a health and safety hazard, and signed an order for emergency demolition. A crew is on site to tackle what's left of the building.

Authorities say none of the nearby buildings were damaged, but traffic has been affected by the collapse. Main Street was blocked off from 7th to 10th street, diverting drivers around the huge pile of bricks and wood blocking the road. Police say the heavy Main Street traffic prompted the extended detour.

"The span of closure is a little bit bigger than some people might think, but we have to consider the dump trucks and semis and things like that come through here. Once they come south of 7th Street, there's just no way they're able to make that turn safely onto 8th or 9th," said Cpl. Dan Haskins, Joplin Police Department.

Officers add it's a top priority to reopen a couple of lanes to traffic, but they don't know how long it will take to open all four lanes. A demolition crew has already been on site for hours. The project could take longer than normal - complicated by a basement that extends out under the sidewalk and a shaft on the alley side of the lot.
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