Two women were trapped under the rubble after the four-story R&S Multimuebles furniture store collapsed in La Vega around noon on Wednesday, 18 January 2023. Of these two, 23-year old Yésica Bueno, was rescued after 10 hours of intense rescue work. She was taken to the Juan Bosch Trauma Hospital. The authorities reported the death of 30-year old Yasiris Joaquín, the other trapped woman who had been on the first floor at the time of the collapse of the building.
As reported, another 15 people were injured in the collapse of the building. The company said the injured were bystanders, construction workers or employees.
The furniture and appliances store has reported on Instagram that the rescue crews had been in touch with one of the two, while the intense rescue operations to reach them were underway.
The company said that the building, located on Las Carreras and Sánchez in La Vega had been under construction for around 30 years when the company purchased it in 2018.
The causes of the collapse of the structure are unknown. There are preliminary reports that the collapse could have occurred because of errors of the construction crew working on a renovation. Listin Diario reports that in 2019 a fire had weakened the structure of the store.
At the time of the collapse on Wednesday, 18 January 2023 at around noon, workers were reportedly fitting new glass windows to the first floor. As reported, there were only six people inside the building when it came down. All but the two women were rescued early on. The collapse occurred when most employees were off for their lunch break.
“We are awaiting the intervention of an expert and the competent authorities to carry out a technical survey of the site. Our company regrets what happened and understands your concerns,” says the company note.
A security camera captured the moment of the collapse. Rescue operations are directed by retired general Juan Manuel Méndez of the Center for Emergency Operations (COE), La Vega firemen chief, Cesar Abreu and the mayor of La Vega, Kelvin Cruz.
19 January 2023