Building Collapse Followup

The collapse of an historic building on 25th Avenue happened around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, followed by a structure right beside it, the old Con Shehan Building.

Inside, Robert Williams, the founder of the Memo Digest newspaper, was discovered dead. Although investigators say it's apparent that heavy winds caused the buildings to collapse, they say Williams' cause of death remains unknown.

"Due to our preliminary investigation, the collapse of the building is not the cause of death. He had been deceased at least two days," said
Lt. Dean Harper with the Meridian Police Department.

Autopsy results are expected to be available next week. Meanwhile, with electrical wires still entangled in what's left of the building, police say they plan to block off the short stretch of roadway in front of it indefinitely.

"Whenever the power company charges that line," says Harper, "if they don't have it up yet, it'll get hot right there in a hurry. Anybody in the structure, it could kill them in an instant."

Not only that, but he says what's remaining of the structure is not stable.

"No stabilization methods have been implemented on it. There's some of the structure higher than six feet and though the wind kept blowing on it yesterday and it didn't fall, it could still fall."

And with that, all are strongly encouraged to stay away.