1 seriously injured in wall collapse in downtown Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A man was seriously injured when a building partially collapsed in downtown Winston-Salem Monday afternoon.

The collapse happened at about 1:30 p.m. at 212 W. Fourth St.

The building was was under demolition when a partial wall on the west side of the building fell.

One demolition worker was trapped for about 20 to 25 minutes and had to be rescued. He was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses at businesses nearby described hearing a loud boom and seeing dust filling up Fourth Street.

When the building collapsed, two police officers were responding to an unrelated call about a block away. Police credit that timing, and people who saw what happened rushing to help the victim, with rescuing the worker so quickly.

"Literally they had every aspect of emergency services en route within seconds of the building collapse, which is a big deal downtown, because we all know downtown is very congested all the time with vehicles," Lt. Steve Osborne said. "So it's imperative that we get immediate control over traffic, so we can get the amount of fire trucks and emergency rescue equipment in here that we needed to, so in this case it was just amazing."

An investigation is underway to determine how the collapse happened.​ The lot will remain fenced off until building inspectors can make sure the area is safe for crews to clean up.