- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - City officials are continuing to investigate why at least one glass panel fell from South Bend’s tallest building and went crashing to the ground.

One or more glass panels fell from the 25th floor of the former Chase Tower in downtown South Bend on Saturday morning. A gust of wind caught the glass panel or panels when they were being removed and were sent flying across the street and into the Tower Building, building commissioner Chuck Bulot told the South Bend Tribune (https://bit.ly/1TXnp0u ).

No one was injured in the incident. But three of the Tower Building’s windows were shattered and the city had to close portions of two streets.

“A chunk of glass the size of a plate was embedded in the lawn,” said Ken Hebard, part owner of the Tower Building. “It’s just fortunate nobody was walking on the street.”

Crews picked pieces of glass from the courthouse lawn and swept them up from the adjacent sidewalk on Monday morning.

Hebard is a partner with an architecture firm that has offices in the Tower Building. He described the impact of the panel or panels hitting the building as “like a bomb.”

“It made a big mess in quite a few upstairs offices,” he said.

This was the first incident to occur at the former Chase Tower since construction on the building began last fall.

Bulot said he visited the construction site Monday and met with the window contractor “to talk about safety measures and the process for making sure they have a safe process in place for window removal.”

Bradley Co., which manages the building on behalf of Washington Square LLC, said in a statement Monday that the glass panel or panels involved in the incident had been cracked and that the contractor will regular monitor the remaining windows’ condition as the work continues.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, https://www.southbendtribune.com


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