Repairs progressing after stair collapse injures woman | News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)- There is new information about the parking deck stair collapse that severely injured a Richmond woman. It turns out that and many other stairwells in the city are not being examined by inspectors.
NBC12 has learned the city doesn't routinely inspect stairwells if they are privately owned. Generally speaking, it would only come out to inspect complaints.
We found a report for the location next to the Crowne Plaza. It dates back to last year before the stairs and the woman walking down them tumbled to the ground three flights below. Back then, a citizen called to report "issues to structure, inside and out." Only then did an inspector come to check it out. According to a file NBC12 obtained, no violations were observed.
The extent of the issues listed in a recent engineer's letter would come as a surprise to people like Sandra Alexander, whose coworker was injured on the stairs earlier this month.
"Just seeing it like this it makes my stomach hurt," she told us right after the accident. "I didn't know it was this bad."
According to the documents, it was that bad. The letter details what was wrong and what needs to be fixed. It lists an area "rusted so badly it does not have adequate strength," "separation, generally accompanied by rust" as the most common problem and an issue Alexander independently explained to us.
"Holes have been in the steps with maybe just something thin being spread over it and painted to cover the hole up but the hole would still be there," she said.
Contractors are now repairing the dangerous problems.
Because this stairwell is closed, the parking deck no longer has two separate exits, as required by code. So for the time being, inspectors shut down everything except the first level.
The work permit was issued six days after the accident. It lists the cost of that work at $3,500.
NBC12 reached out to the person listed as the parking garage contact on the permit application. Our calls were not returned.
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