Donations are being accepted at several locations for the family of Alissa Jones. The "Coffman Family Fund" at Centennial Bank will benefit Erin Coffman, Jones' mother, who sustained injuries in Monday's building collapse. Donations are also being accepted at Grandmaster Han's Martial Arts Family website, www.younwha.com. Donations may also be made at the Conway GMHMA at 1216 Harkrider St. after 4 p.m. Lastly, contributions for the funeral expenses for Allissa Jones will be accepted at Bob Neal and Sons Funeral Home at 5 Bruce St. in Morrilton.
The cause is still unknown in Monday’s building collapse in downtown Morrilton that killed a young girl and injured several.
Morrilton Police Chief Norbert Gunderman said Tuesday that investigations were "in the hands of the city."
The adjoining structures at East Broadway Street along U.S. Highway 64 fell just after noon on Monday, trapping occupants and killing 2-year-old Alissa Jones.
Brandon Baker, director of the Office of Emergency Management for Conway County, said part or the whole of the structure was built in 1937.
"We don’t know how it collapsed, just that both of them came down," Baker said. "It took 17 seconds for it all to collapse. We know that because we have an earthquake monitoring system in Conway County."
One remaining west wall was expected to fall at any moment, Baker said.
"The west wall is still standing, however, there’s a heavy load on it from the two collapsed floors," Baker said. "We’ve expected it to fall but it hasn’t yet. Barricades are up so that no one should be injured when it does fall."
Morrilton Mayor Stewart Nelson told the Associated Press the wall was "creaking and groaning all night ..." and that people had noticed similar noises at the building in recent days.
Baker said a representative from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was at the site for "quite a while" Tuesday and was speaking with the city building inspector.
No official cause was released, though an AP article stated officials were trying to determine if "ongoing construction" at a bridal shop in one of the buildings was to blame.
Conway resident Steve Magie and his father, JJ Magie, resident of Morrilton, are owners of the collapsed building that housed a Merle Norman shop.
According to Steve Magie, the second floor of the building was used for storage.
To the right of the storefront, Magie said, was a wedding boutique that had recently changed hands.
"I hate that what happened happened. Not so much because of the building, but because of the loss of the child," Magie said.
Several of those injured were transported to St. Vincent Hospital in Morrilton and later released.
One of the injured parties, St. Vincent spokesperson Margaret Preston Dedman said, was admitted to the hospital.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)