Seven people, including a mother and baby, were transported to hospital Monday with non-life threatening injuries after scaffolding and part of a building collapsed at a construction site in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood, a Toronto Police spokesperson said.
The collapse happened around 2:30 p.m. near Bathurst and Eglinton Streets, said Toronto Police Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook. All of those injured were either close to or inside the construction site at the time, she said, adding that the baby, a six-month-old, and mother received minor injuries and are alright. None of the seven suffered life-threatening injuries, but three suffered serious injuries.
“The infant was in a stroller, and the stroller is all twisted and bent,” said Toronto Fire Division Commander Bob O’Halloran. “Fortunately, the infant’s not injured at all, so the stroller must have actually saved that baby.”
The building where the collapse occurred was in the process of being demolished to make way for a transit station for the Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown line, which is still under construction. Ron Aitken, Project Director at Crosslinx, the consortium of companies contracted to design, build, and finance the line, told reporters at the scene that the only portion of the former two-storey Chinese restaurant standing at the time of the collapse was the building’s facade. Aitken refused to answer reporters’ repeated questions about how the facade was being held up.
Details about the incident remain limited, and it’s not yet known what led to the collapse. Metrolinx Chief Capital Officer John Jensen told reporters they were co-operating with the ongoing investigation, and repeatedly called the incident an “accident.” No Metrolinx employees were injured in the collapse, but it was unclear whether any contract workers handling the demolition were injured, said Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins.
The Ministry of Labour has been called in and will lead the investigation into the collapse. A police canine unit was at the scene to help search for other possible victims.