STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. - Police have identified the two workers killed by granite slabs that shifted on top of them inside a warehouse in Sterling Heights.
Firefighters got a call at 2:33 p.m. Monday from the Stone Warehouse of Michigan on 19 Mile Road between Van Dyke and Merrill Road, according to Fire Chief Chris Martin.
Martin said two workers had been using an overhead crane to move granite slabs. When those slabs were lifted off their storage rack, others shifted, causing a cascade of slabs to fall.
Benjamin Allen Welch, 30, of Warren, and James Alan Jones, 53, of Shelby Township, got pinned by several granite slabs and became trapped. Martin said both men were killed.
"We're trying to slowly and methodically remove all that granite so we can get them out without anybody else getting hurt," Martin said.
He said the slabs are about 1,000 pounds each and around 5 feet wide and 8 feet long.
Firefighters worked with management to make sure everyone else was accounted for, Martin said. The building was evacuated while firefighters try to safely remove the slabs.
"We've asked them all to leave the building so we can keep everything nice and safe," Martin said.
The body of the first man was recovered just before 6 p.m. Monday, firefighters said. The body of the second man was recovered just after 9 p.m. Monday, they said.
"This was a tragic day for everyone involved, so please keep them in your thoughts as they all
try to deal with this tragedy," Martin said.
Here are the full comments from Martin:
Here's video from the scene:
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