MORRILTON — The collapse of a downtown Morrilton building killed a 2-year-old female child and injured eight people just after noon Monday.
According to Margaret Preston Dedman, a spokeswoman for St. Vincent Hospital in Morrilton, at least four of the injured people who had been transported to the hospital were treated and released, and the child, identified by Conway County coroner Richard Neal as Alissa Jones, was deceased upon arrival.
One victim was admitted to the hospital and was listed in stable condition, and another was being treated in the emergency department by mid afternoon.
She said two people were air-lifted for treatment at nearby medical centers.
Dedman did not comment on the nature of the child's injuries. According to the Associated Press, Neal said one the girl's relatives was among the injured.
Authorities pulled at least a half dozen people from the debris since noon, including Jones, Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith told the Associated Press.
The cause of the collapse at 101 East Broadway St. is under investigation, according to Morrilton Police Chief Norbert Gunderman.
"... We don't know at this time what the exact cause of the collapse is," he said.
At press time, Gunderman said that a representative from OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, had been at the site, and he would return today for "further investigation."
According to Gunderman, a Merle Norman studio was located in one of the collapsed segments, along with a photography studio that he believed had recently undergone renovations.
One hour after the building collapsed, agencies from Morrilton, Conway and the Little Rock areas were clearing the building's sidewalk of debris to make sure that no pedestrian had been nearby when the building fell.
The Conway Fire Department was called to the scene by Morrilton emergency workers to aid in search and rescue.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org 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)