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4 hurt in Koreatown building collapse

January 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Officials say at least four people had minor injuries and several families were displaced when a section of a Koreatown apartment building collapsed.The front of the apartment house at 1625 S. Westmoreland Ave., near Washington Boulevard, came down just before 9 p.m. said d'Lisa Davies of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

"It was a 35 foot by 20 foot section that collapsed," Davies said. "At 9:30 p.m. we received notice that all occupants were accounted for."

The Red Cross offered to find temporary housing for the displaced families, but they declined and will be staying with family members, she said.

The DWP and The Gas Co. shut down power and gas, and after an inspection, the city's Building & Safety Department condemned the building, Davies said.

Four people trapped in the rubble were rescued, including a 36-year-old woman who had been on the second floor and suffered cuts to her head. She was transported to a nearby hospital, but is expected to be OK, Davies said.

The condemned structure is leaning to the south, toward a neighboring eight-unit building, prompting authorities to evacuate it, Davies said.

Those residents were expected to return as soon as the damaged structure is stabilized, she said.

Some 70 firefighters, ambulance and search and rescue crews rushed to the scene when the front of the building collapsed, but everyone inside has been accounted for.