DALLAS — A construction worker is sharing his story of survival after a three-story townhome collapsed in West Dallas Monday afternoon, injuring five and killing one.
The development is part of SoHo Square, a Megatel Homes development, located in the 2600 block of Borger Street, just south of Singleton Boulevard, west of Trinity Groves. Officials were called to the scene shortly before 4 p.m.
Between 20 and 30 workers were in the collapsed zone, six of them became trapped in the collapse.
Five people who were sent to the hospital are expected to be ok, according to officials. One worker, Raul Ortega-Cabrera, 35, of Arlington, didn't make it out alive.
Ofir Montiel, a framer on the project, captured the frantic moments after the building came crashing down on his cellphone.
In one video, you see first responders carrying tools and chainsaws. They can be seen sifting through the debris and lumber desperately trying to reach those who were trapped.
In the video, you can also see a red truck covered in wood. Montiel said he was in that truck with others when the house collapsed on top of them. He said that everyone was starting to leave the area once it began to rain.
"We were taking off, we weren't going to work in the rain," Montiel said. "The house collapsed on top of us man, and I just squished myself inside the truck."
Montiel said that he and other workers tried helping those who were trapped, but that they were quickly relieved by first responders. "We were trying to help them out, but they told us to move and to get out of the way," Montiel said.
Crews stayed on site after dark. When the body of the sole worker who lost his life was retrieved from the scene, other construction workers from the site watched in disbelief.
Montiel said he's lucky to be alive. "I'm thanking God that I'm still alive man. That could have been me," he said.
The cause of the collapse is under investigation, yet DFR Spokesperson Jason Evans said the weather and straight-line winds could have played a factor.
Megatel sent a statement to WFAA Tuesday morning saying, "One of our construction projects experienced a partial structural collapse while several of our third-party construction crews were working. Dallas emergency services were notified immediately and are on site. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide further information as it becomes available."
It continues by saying, "The high winds and heavy rain that Dallas is currently experiencing caused the unfinished structure to become vulnerable and collapse. We understand that some of the construction workers have been injured and that there was tragically one fatality. We will provide further information as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers are with the construction crew and their families."