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Dec 3, 5:58 PM EST

Woman talked on phone with rescuers after building collapsed

AP Photo
AP Photo/James Nord

PHOTO GALLERY
AP Photo

Building Collapse

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- The 22-year-old woman who was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building in South Dakota was on the phone with rescuers and her parents for hours and she provided crucial information as they tried to find her.

The Argus Leader reported (http://argusne.ws/2gmbZoy ) Emily Fodness was on a bed in her parents' apartment in downtown Sioux Falls on Friday when the floor gave way. She was left in darkness with her dog and couldn't sit up, but could reach her phone. Fodness called her mother, then stayed on the line with her parents, who passed the phone to rescuers.

"She was really aware of where she was, she knew everything," Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said. "She could say, 'I was north of here and south of there.'"

Workers rescued Fodness after about three hours. She was injured, but her family said in a statement that she's in good condition.

The cause of Friday's collapse is still unknown. On Saturday, officials continued cleaning up debris and were working with property owners to come up with a plan for demolishing the rest of the building.

One man died in the collapse. His mother identified him as Ethan McMahon, a construction worker. His body was pulled from the debris seven hours after authorities began their search.

The Argus Leader reports that McMahon was a father and a veteran who served in the Marines. He was working at the site with his brother, John, who made it out alive.

His longtime friend, Dustin Eberle, said: "Ethan was the kind of guy that would go out of his way to make you laugh, no matter what was going on in his life."

Two dogs were also rescued from the building, but a third is unaccounted for.

The building was being turned into a drugstore. The city of Sioux Falls said in a statement that the building was constructed in 1916. Hultgren Construction, the company working on the building, declined to comment to the newspaper.

The city issued a permit authorizing Hultgren Construction to take out interior finishes such as ceiling tiles, furnishings, floor coverings and a bar area, according to the statement.

Sheila Stanley, area director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Sioux Falls area office, told the newspaper that OSHA records show the construction company doesn't have any prior workplace safety violations.

OSHA will be investigating the cause of the collapse.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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