1 dead, 3 hospitalized following retaining wall collapse in Hendersonville

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HENDERSONVILLE, NC (WSPA) – One person was killed and three others were taken to local hospitals after a retaining wall collapsed in Hendersonville.

According to a news release from the City of Hendersonville, the retaining wall collapsed at about 9:30 a.m. in the Hajoca parking lot, located at 1027 Spartanburg Highway, and trapped five Robert Crawford Masonry crew members.

“It felt like an earthquake, a loud boom from the floor up and then the building shook,” said Steve Gospodinoff, who was working at a business close by.

When emergency responders arrived on scene, one crew member who escaped the collapse with minor injuries was able to tell them that four other crew members had been working with him.

First responders were able to able to rescue three men and recover 37-year-old Marcelino Godofredo Rendon Hernandez’s body, Hendersonville officials said.

“We spent numerous hours trying to remove the wall, lift the wall up to get him out,” Hendersonville Fire Chief James Miller said. “Unfortunately, he was dead there, and it was more of a body retrieval as opposed to a rescue. He was deceased immediately, and we identified that very, very quickly.”

Hendersonville officials said two men were flown to Mission Hospital for their injuries. Another man taken by ambulance to Pardee Hospital, but he was later transported to Mission Hospital due to the extent of his injuries. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

“It just put chills through my body,” Gospondinoff said. “You know brings tears to your eyes, because these poor guys are just coming for a day of work, making a living and just one of those freak accidents you never expect it to happen.”

The NC Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division and the Hendersonville Police Department are investigating the incident.

City of Hendersonville officials said they would like to thank the following for their efforts:

Blue Ridge Fire Department, Cason Builders Supply, Dana Fire Department, Henderson County Building Inspector, Henderson County Emergency Management, Henderson County EMS, Henderson County Rescue Squad, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Hendersonville Fire Department, Hendersonville Police Department, Hendersonville Public Works, Hendersonville Water & Sewer, Laurel Park Police Department, NC Department of Labor, NC Department of Transportation, NC Emergency Management, NC State Highway Patrol, NC USAR Task Force 2 out of Buncombe County, and other neighboring fire departments and law enforcement agencies.

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