Two members of a demolition crew remained missing Thursday following the collapse of a shuttered power plant in southern Ohio, authorities said.
The Killen Generating Station near Manchester, in Adams County, Ohio, closed down two years ago and was being prepared for demolition before it collapsed at about 9 a.m. on Wednesday, officials said.
“Demolition crews have been working here forever,” Adams County Sheriff Kimmy Rogers said. “It was in the process of being torn down. These were demolition crews.”
In the hours following Wednesday’s collapse, authorities said five workers were missing. Three were found and taken to hospitals but two were still unaccounted for by Thursday morning, officials said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the collapse and the investigation is ongoing.
Fran and I are praying for those still missing and for the safety of the search and rescue teams in Adams County. https://t.co/Y1wTGTDCCa
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) December 9, 2020
Adams County residents are still reeling from the 2018 closure of the coal-burning plant that employed about 500 people and propped up much of the local economy.
“I understand the environment effect (of coal) but I would hope that if people could spend millions to close, devastating communities, they could spend millions of dollars to put something in its place,” an animated Sheriff Rogers told NBC News on Thursday.
“It was the biggest employer in the county. I’ve seen what closing has done to the kids in the community. The local pizza shops and everything has had an impact from it.”
The shuttered plant is on U.S. Highway 52, about 80 miles southeast of downtown Cincinnati and a stone’s throw from the Ohio River, which separates the Buckeye State from Kentucky.
“Fran and I are praying for those still missing and for the safety of the search and rescue teams in Adams County,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement on behalf of he and Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine.
This is a developing story, please refresh here for updates.