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28th Body Found at Building Site; Victims Honored

From Times Wire Services

The body of the last of 28 workers killed in the collapse of a building under construction was pulled from the twisted steel and concrete debris Saturday, ending a nine-day search, authorities said.

In a farewell gesture, fellow construction workers erected a cross and placed flowers and their hard hats before the ruins.

Teams had worked around the clock since the April 23 tragedy, hoping to find someone alive, but the only survivors were those found the day of the collapse.

Four bodies were pulled out Friday. Until the last body was found, the workers insisted that they were on a rescue operation rather than a search for dead.

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Shortly after the recovery of the last remains, rescuers used crowbars and blowtorches to carve the names of the dead on two plywood boards resting against a single concrete slab.

Between the plywood sheets, they bolted to a piece of concrete an eight-foot, bright orange cross, and about 50 of the rescue workers placed their hard hats before it. An American flag was hung at half staff beside the memorial.

Colorful flowers brightened a wooden bench in front of the slab, and a wreath was placed on what was left of a steel beam. An inscription on a vase read: “They gave their lives for the progress of others. R.I.P. Your brothers.”

The $17.6-million L’Ambiance Plaza apartment building was about 60% completed when it gave way. It was being built by the lift-slab method, in which concrete floors are poured at ground level and raised into place.

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