- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The construction company that was working in a downtown Sioux Falls building when it collapsed and killed one worker this month is asking the community to “keep an open mind” until the cause is determined.

In the company’s first comments since the collapse, Aaron Hultgren of Hultgren Construction said in a statement that the company is cooperating with investigators and asked for patience from the public, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2gDBc0t ) reported.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident. Hultgren said the company “will accept responsibility if it is determined we are responsible.”

The building housed apartments and a bar that was being remodeled into a drug store when it collapsed on Dec. 2.

On Monday, all investigative agencies gathered at the site of the collapse for one last look, the city of Sioux Falls said in a statement. The site should be cleared of debris by the end of the week, and the investigations continue, the city said.

Construction worker Ethan McMahon, a 24-year-old Marine, was killed in the incident. McMahon and his brother, who made it out of the wreckage, were working when the 100-year-old building collapsed around them. McMahon’s funeral was Friday.

“Neither the McMahon family, nor the Hultgren Construction team, will ever completely recover from this tragedy,” Hultgren said.

Emily Fodness, 22, was trapped for three hours under the debris before she was saved by first responders. Fodness was lying in her bed in her parents’ apartment when the floor fell in. Her parents said the day of the incident that she was in good condition and asked for privacy.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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