MU Reacts to University Village Apartments Collapse
COLUMBIA - An investigation is underway following a collapse at University Village Apartments near MU's campus early Saturday morning.
Shortly after 4:30 a.m., first responders were dispatched to University Village apartments after a resident heard noises and thought the roof would cave in. The Columbia Fire Department was first on the scene. As the building was being evacuated, a second-story balcony partially collapsed. As Columbia Fire Department Lieutenant Bruce Britt was working to secure the scene, the balcony completely collapsed, trapping him beneath the rubble. Lt. Britt was rushed to the University Hospital, but he did not survive.
The University of Missouri released a statement at 6 a.m. acknowledging the collapse.
Nearly two hours later, MU's chancellor R. Bowen Loftin also released a statement.
As news spread of Lt. Britt's death, whose name had not yet been released, Chancellor Loftin released another statement.
Chancellor Loftin addressed the media at a news conference at 2 p.m.
"We immediately brought in a structural engineering firm to examine the effected facility first and, next, all those like it at University Village," Loftin said. "With advice from that firm, we've done appropriate actions to guarantee that the other buildings in that facility, University village are in fact safe."
Loftin added all other residence halls were also inspected. Beginning on Monday, all buildings owned or leased by the university will be inspected as well.
The university moved displaced families to nearby hotels.