1 dead, 3 hospitalized following retaining wall collapse in North Carolina


HENDERSONVILLE, NC (WSPA) – One person was killed and three others were taken to local hospitals after a retaining wall collapsed in Hendersonville.

According to a news release from the City of Hendersonville, the retaining wall collapsed at the Hajoca parking lot, located at 1027 Spartanburg Highway, at around 9:30 a.m.

One person was dead upon emergency responders arrival, while two people were flown to Mission Hospital for treatment in unknown condition.

Additionally, another person was transported by ambulance to Pardee and one other person sustained minors injures and was treated at the scene.

Hendersonville Fire Chief James Miller said several emergency crews were called to the scene, and what they saw was horrific.

“We spent numerous hours trying to remove the wall, lift the wall up to get him out,” Miller said.

He added, “Unfortunately he was dead there and it was more of a body retrieval as opposed to a rescue. He was deceased immediately and we identified that very very quickly.”

Another person close to the scene was Steve Gospodinoff.

His store is right next to where the accident happened.

He thought it was a propane explosion, but the sound Gospodinoff heard, was the wall crashing.

“It felt like an earthquake, a loud boom from the floor up and then the building shook,” Gospondinoff said.

“It just put chills through my body,” Gospondinoff said.” “You know brings tears to your eyes, because these poor guys are just coming for a day of work, making a living and just one of those freak accidents you never expect it to happen.”

Steve Thomas, a construction worker in the area, came to the scene Wednesday after he found out what happened.

It’s a hopeless feeling he says.

He knows because the same thing happened him 20 years ago.

“It’s very scary,” Thomas said. “I went into shock when it happened to me, and got up and took off down the road with blood, and didn’t know what had happened, if the car had run off the road or whatever. It’s a very dangerous situation, you know.”

According to a release from the city, next of kin notifications are underway and no additional details are available at this time.

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