CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A construction worker moved an 8,000-pound end-loader onto a part of the Town Center parking garage floor that was weakened because of repairs, leading to a collapse, mall manager Tom Bird said.
Part of the sixth floor of the Quarrier Street garage collapsed onto the fifth floor. No one was injured in the incident Thursday morning.
The weight of the vehicle and the weakened condition of the section of parking garage caused the collapse, Bird said.
"This would never have occurred during a normal period," Bird said. "And it never would have occurred if any employee of the contractor hadn't improperly moved a piece of heavy equipment onto an area that was under construction."
The sixth floor of the garage and the area of the fifth floor near the collapse will be roped off until repairs are made, Bird said.
"We don't need the sixth floor of the parking garage until Christmas," he said, adding that the area should be back open in time for the shopping season.
Charleston Building Commissioner Tony Harmon said crews were working on the top floor of the parking garage, stripping a protective layer from the surface of the concrete when the 20-foot by 30-foot section of concrete collapsed under the weight of the end-loader and fell through to the garage's fifth floor.
No one was reported injured in the mishap, but cars on the fourth floor below the collapsed section were moved.
"We went up there and made sure they did all [the] precautions with it until their engineer arrives," Harmon said.
He said braces were set up between the fifth and sixth levels of the parking garage in the area of the collapse and between the fourth and fifth levels to reinforce the garage.