Woman falls through parking deck staircase

Posted at 10:44 AM, Jul 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-06 19:10:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - A woman was injured when she fell through a parking deck staircase in downtown Richmond, according to witnesses who saw the woman fall. 

According to city spokesman Michael Wallace, the woman fell from two flights of stairs and was taken to the hospital. The extent of her injuries remain unknown.

Witnesses told CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones that another man who tried to catch the woman was also  injured.

Wallace said city building inspectors were called to to the scene, but that the city is not responsible for maintaining or doing annual inspections to non-city buildings or properties.

However, Wallace said the city will inspect at the request of the property owners, if there's a complaint or concern and after a construction project is completed. 

In addition to hotel guests, city workers use the deck for parking, Jones reported.

In fact, Sandra Alexander, who works with the injured woman, said many of her coworkers that park in the garage suspected there may have been a problem with the stairs.

"There's a lot of talk going on today damage was already [there] and it just wasn't being repaired,"  "Just to know that you're coming to work and before you can get into the building, bam you're on the ground under concrete," 

Toni Henry, who uses the stairs three to four times a week, told Jones that she was worried after feeling the steps shake -- and that she knew something just didn't seem right.

 "You can feel like a little tremble, a little vibrating as you're coming down," said Henry. "I was frightened, because that could've been me."

The parking deck is attached to the Crowne Plaza Hotel on East Canal Street in Richmond. Representatives from Central Parking told Jones that the hotel owns the parking deck and that Central Parking leases space there.

"The incident that occurred today is being investigated," said Central Parking System Vice President and Lead Counsel Christopher Kato in an email to CBS 6. "The company is a tenant of the garage.  We believe it best to not further comment on the matter given the pendency of that investigation."

CBS 6 spoke with a man who says he works for Sandhu Corporation, which owns the Crowne Plaza hotel, but he declined to comment.