SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — At least four workers were hurt Tuesday afternoon when a portion of the federal courthouse in downtown Savannah collapsed.

Fire officials said there were no critical injuries after a portion of the third floor fell down at the building on Bull Street. The cause of the collapse is still being investigated.

“The floor falling in shouldn’t have happened,” Savannah Fire Department Batallion Chief Wayne Ifill said. “So we all know this building has been under renovation for several years, or at least a year now, and we don’t know what exactly the action was to cause that collapse to happen.”

The contractor working to renovate the Tomochichi Federal Building is Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie, according to the United States General Services Administration, which is overseeing the project.

WSAV learned that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and fined the contractor several times in the last five years. Some of the fines were the result of serious safety violations, according to OSHA.

The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dates back to 1899.

This current update was funded in 2016 at an estimated price tag of more than $75.6 million, with more than $23.6 million going into gutting and rebuilding the inside of the structure. Work at the site started in 2021.

Renovations on the list include replacing the entire building’s electrical, heating, air, ventilation, fire protection, and elevator systems. The 128,061 square feet of space inside was being redesigned to add room for additional federal offices.

Streets and businesses around the building had to be shut down in February after a temporary support system failed. Work at the site resumed several days later.

The U.S. General Services Administration released a statement after the incident:

“Around 3:30 p.m. on April 11, a floor system failed at the 125-year-old Tomochichi Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Savannah, Georgia, resulting in several injuries to construction workers on site. GSA contractors had been renovating the building, which has remained closed during the construction and renovations. 

Our priority is the safety and well-being of individuals who were on site, all of whom were accounted for. The building was evacuated and work has been put on hold while the incident is investigated. GSA is working closely with the general contractor and local officials to prioritize the health and safety of those in and around the courthouse.”

After the collapse, some local business owners said on social media that they were told that businesses that were forced to close will not be able to reopen until an inspection is completed.