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Workers evacuated after portion of ceiling in Lower Richland building collapses; no injuries

Columbia fire personnel respond to a collapsed structure and a gas leak at Thermal Engineering in Lower Richland Monday.
Columbia fire personnel respond to a collapsed structure and a gas leak at Thermal Engineering in Lower Richland Monday. tglantz@thestate.com

Columbia firefighters are investigating the collapse Monday afternoon of what they say is a portion of the interior of an industrial manufacturing building in Lower Richland.

Emergency personnel were called to Thermal Engineering, in the Columbia Industrial Park in the 2100 block of Bluff Road, around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

An unknown number of workers was inside the 1,200-square-foot warehouse, but all were evacuated safely, Columbia fire department spokesman Brick Lewis said.

A natural gas line through the site, which is a block south of Interstate 77, was cut off as a precaution, Lewis said, adding there is no danger to anyone in the surrounding area.

No nearby businesses were evacuated, Lewis said.

It was not known Monday afternoon how many businesses are in the park.

An investigation into the cause of the collapse is continuing, Lewis said.

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