At approximately 5:25 p.m. on Monday, September 12, the Summit Fire Department and Grant- Roberts Ambulance were dispatched to 45240 146th Street, two miles south and six miles west of Summit, for a building collapse with multiple victims requiring medical care.
According to Kevin Schuelke, head of Grant County Emergency Management, rafters had collapsed during the construction of a new building at Blooming Valley Dairy. The accident involved 21 workers , 10 of whom were transported by ambulance to hospitals in Watertown, Milbank, Webster, and Ortonville. Watertown Fire and Rescue reported one patient had sustained critical injuries and the remaining patients were in stable condition.
Milbank Fire Chief David Giesen said, “The request for help from the Milbank department was actually their third call for mutual aid. When we arrived on the scene, our team assisted Summit and South Shore by helping to remove one injured worker from a man lift. Other members of the Milbank department supported the ambulance crew during triage and in driving the ambulance rigs to their assigned hospital.”
Chief Giesen said, “Milbank also used infrared cameras and deployed a drone to secure the scene of any other potential victims. Once secured, we taped off the area and the Summit squad remained on scene until Emergency Management arrived.
“We all train for incidents similar to these, but one never knows what to expect when we’re actually called out on one,” Giesen added. Watching all the agencies from fire and ambulance crews to law enforcement you see all the hours of training really shine through. It was a job well done by all departments.”
The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.
Agencies that responded included: Grant County Sheriff Department, Roberts County Sheriff Department, Summit Fire, Milbank Fire, South Shore Fire, Wilmot Fire, Watertown Fire, Grant- Roberts Ambulance, Ortonville Ambulance, South Shore Ambulance, Christianson Ambulance, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and Grant County Emergency Management.