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UHS Parking Garage in Johnson City Collapses

Just behind me is the UHS parking garage that collapsed around three o'clock Thursday afternoon pinning cars under concrete wreckage. I spoke with a man earlier this afternoon who said he narrowly escaped what we are now learning could have been a much more tragic accident.

Larry Shannon said, "It's just a good thing that I wasn't in my car and pulling out because that's my normal parking spot when I come to my appointments. So by the grace of God, I'm glad I just wasn't there. "

According to Officials, search dogs were used in efforts to find any trapped individuals, surrounding buildings were evacuated and a localized state of emergency has been declared for Harrison, Baldwin and Arch streets.

County Executive, Debbie Preston said,"It certainly is going to take a while but you know we can always replace cars and structures and our hope is that there is no injuries or loss of life because that's our main concern right now and as of right now we don't see any of that right now. "

Chief of Police of Johnson City, Brent Dodge said, "I wanted to make sure we could rule out any kind of criminal activity. I did briefly hear the structural engineer say it did seem to be a structural failure."

Johnson City Officials are confident that there are no fatalities or injuries involving the accident however, a localized State of Emergency does remain in effect for surrounding streets until the wreckage can be cleaned up.

Officials say operations at the hospital are not affected and are operating as normal and it is unclear at this time how long it will take crews to finish the clean-up