Inquiry launched after Baltimore parking garage partially collapses
No injuries reported or cars trapped under rubble; part of Charles Street closes
Officials are investigating a parking garage that partially collapsed Friday morning in downtown Baltimore.
The collapse occurred at the entrance of the garage. There were no injuries nor
cars trapped underneath the rubble at the entrance, according to Baltimore Fire Assistant Chief Dante Stewart.
“We are grateful that there was no one injured,” Mayor Brandon Scott said at a press conference Friday. “This could have been a severe tragedy.”
The garage’s entrance remains completely blocked off. Crew members used saws to cut through screens to enter the ground level and the side stairs of the
garage. Most of the garage, located at 1 E Pratt St., remains stable and Stewart said no further collapse is anticipated.
Charles Street will be closed indefinitely between Pratt Street and Conway Street as the fire crew continues to investigate the scene and clear the damage. The high-traffic area in the Inner Harbor sits between the large Hyatt Regency and Sheraton hotels.
While parking in the structure is managed by SP+, the garage is owned by Banyan Street Capital, a real estate company based in Miami.
“We are aware of the incident at One East Pratt in which part of a parking deck ramp collapsed. As a safety precaution, we have secured the surrounding area and closed all entry points into the garage. At this time, there are no bodily injuries and no known vehicular damage,” Banyan Street Capital said in an email. “We are cooperating with a structural engineer with the City of Baltimore, who is onsite to determine the cause of the partial ramp collapse.”
Stewart said a car entered the garage just before the floor above the entrance collapsed. The driver made it through safely and the car was not damaged. There are 50 cars in the garage currently across all three levels, Stewart said. Those with cars in the garage will need to wait for updates from Standard Parking Plus on when they can retrieve their vehicles.
The garage is inspected yearly, though Stewart said he did not know when the garage was built nor when it was last inspected.
The E Pratt Street property received a renovation permit April 27 to demolish a limited number of non-load bearing partitions and build new ones as well as update doors and hardware to meet Baltimore’s building codes. The permit expires October 27. It’s unclear if these renovations have been completed.
Kenneth Brown, who works at the Sheraton across the street from the garage, arrived around 6:30 a.m. Friday for his shift. He commutes from Washington D.C.
He didn’t hear anything when the floor gave out across the street, but when he looked out an upper-level window, he saw Charles Street lined with fire trucks. He went outside to see what was going on.
“I just wanted to be nosy,” Brown said.