Video from a nearby business shows the moment a building facade collapsed at a strip mall on Wednesday, trapping six people behind wall debris.
LA County Fire Department said a 50-foot section in front of the Beauty De Color salon fell for unknown reasons around 4 p.m. People were trapped in an adjacent dry cleaning business and in the living room in east Los Angeles.
Video from another company in the mall shows the front of the lounge falling into a pile of dust and debris. A person can be seen walking almost under the facade just as it falls.
“It was like an earthquake,” said witness Justin Han. “I started to hear creaking noises. Suddenly the roof collapsed. Everyone started running backwards.
Structural engineers are expected Thursday to help determine what caused the collapse and when repairs can begin.
Beauty De Color salon owner Theressa Nguyen was among six people rescued by firefighters.
“The noise was really loud,” she said. “We were up, walking inside. Finding a place to hide. Luckily everyone was safe.”
Fire crews cleared a path through the debris as the two affected businesses do not have backdoors.
At least two parked cars were hit by debris.
A city inspector confirms that one leg of the structure has been tagged red, meaning it’s unsafe for anyone to enter. Firefighters recovered an aquarium at the request of the salon owner after someone told her it could be months before she was allowed inside.
“It was like an earthquake,” said Justin Han, who was there for a haircut. “I started to hear creaking noises. Suddenly the roof collapsed. Everyone started running backwards.”