Rescue teams locate the body of a missing man at the site of the East Van parking lot collapse

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The employee’s body was found on Friday evening after he was pronounced dead at the scene. News reports identify him as Ben Sotelo.

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Vancouver Fire Services reported late Friday that the body of a man was found at the scene of a building roof collapse on the Lougheed Freeway on Thursday.

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The male employee was reported missing and his body recovered from the rubble, but he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 5 p.m., Trevor Connelly, assistant deputy chief of operations for the Vancouver Fire Rescue Service, said in a Press release.

The deceased was identified as Ben Sotelo, a 40-year-old human resources manager who had worked for the Gizella Pastry bakery for four years, according to reports from Global News and City News on Friday evening.

The man’s brother, Humberto Sotelo, described him as “a ray of sunshine. Always smiling,” to Global News while en route from Mexico City seeking answers about Ben Sotelo’s death.

With Sotelo’s recovery, the scene of the crash has been turned over to WorkSafeBC’s investigation, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Kane Moshito said.

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Rescue teams had previously attempted to try to make contact with the Sotelo, but had no cellphone response or sound indicating a location. Two search dogs had also been brought in on Friday to identify areas where the man might have been.

“This tragic work accident – ​​where around 90 people were working at the time of the collapse, most self-evacuated and eight were rescued by first arriving crews from VFRS and two were taken to hospital by BCEHS – claimed the life of a member of our community,” Connelly said. “On behalf of our entire department and the city, our thoughts are now with the employee’s family, friends and co-workers as ‘they face this tragic loss.”

The discovery came a day after a bobcat loader moved one of two large piles of dirt in the rooftop car park when the loader, soil and a piece of pavement about three meters by four meters collapsed in the offices below.

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Cranes had to be brought in to lift the larger pieces of debris away from the site of the collapse. Connelly said earlier Friday that the situation was very unstable and dangerous.

The work was laborious, physical and tiring, he says.

About two dozen rescuers were at the scene Friday, including firefighters and members of Vancouver’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team, a specialist team that responds to major structural collapses.

WorkSafeBC, the agency that oversees worker safety in the province, has launched an investigation into the cause of the collapse, which has not been determined.

With files from The Canadian Press and Derrick Penner

Emergency services personnel investigate a collapsed parking garage roof at a business on E. Broadway near Rupert Street in Vancouver on Friday, July 15, 2022. The roof collapsed Thursday afternoon, sending several people to the hospital.
Emergency services personnel investigate a collapsed parking garage roof at a business on E. Broadway near Rupert Street in Vancouver on Friday, July 15, 2022. The roof collapsed Thursday afternoon, sending several people to the hospital. Photo by Jason Payne /PNG

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    Two people taken to hospital after section of rooftop parking lot collapses in Vancouver

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