Sad Shift from Rescue to Recovery in Ohio Power Plant Collapse

Joshua York, Staff Reporter

A construction site rescue is slowly turning into a recovery after part of an Adams County, Ohio power plant collapsed early Wednesday morning according to local sheriff’s office.

Officials say the Killen plant was under demolition when the awning of the plant collapsed, and initially five people were unaccounted for, says Kim Rogers, the Adams County Sheriff. Three of them were later found and one remains in serious condition after being trapped for hours under the rubble. 

The body of Doug Gray, a 42 year old truck driver, was finally recovered (right as we went to press). But worker Jamie Fitzgerald is still missing. Adamo, the company in charge of the demolition site, is now investigating to see if all OSHA regulations were being followed.

Crews worked through the night to locate Gray and Fitzgerald but Thursday morning, when Jill Spires, with her husband and search dog arrived around 8 a.m. there were no rescue crews to be found. “There are zero ambulances, zero fire trucks…they are running two back hoes with claw hands and that is it,” Spires said.

Family members were upset that the Adamo company wasn’t letting volunteers help because of the dangerous circumstances. Trista Marby, Doug Gray’s fiance said that “if it was any of us in there laying in his spot, he would be out here doing everything he could to get anybody out.”

Lora Conley, fiance of Fitzgerald, made an emotional plea to local media as well, asking for more to be done to find him. To go into the holiday season with such tragedy is unimaginable for any family.

This isn’t the first problem the company has had when it comes to safety. The company was also fined in 2016 by the Occupational Safety and Health administration for workplace violations while on another demolition site in Ohio. A lawsuit from 2015 was filed against the company for the death of Adamo CEO John Adamo Jr who was killed in the workplace.