• No life-threatening injuries were reported in the collapse of a supermarket in Las Vegas, Nevada, Friday morning
  • The cause of the collapse has yet to be determined, but authorities noted it was an old building
  • La Bonita Supermarkets gave its employees support, with plans to relocate some staff to other locations

A Las Vegas, Nevada supermarket collapsed Friday, leaving four people injured and sending more than a dozen fleeing out the back door.

The overhang tumbled for about 20 minutes after La Bonita Supermarkets on 2500 E. Desert Inn Road opened Friday morning. None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries, Clark County Fire Battalion Chief Steve Broadwell told news outlets, including Fox5 Las Vegas.

Following the incident, La Bonita Supermarkets General Manager Armando Martinez said in a statement that the store will remain closed until further notice.

"At this point, we don't know the cause of the incident and are working with the proper authorities in charge of the investigation," Martinez stated.

A vendor named Michael Martial told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that three of those injured in the supermarket collapse appeared to be homeless people. While two were able to get themselves out of the location, one was hit in the back of the head and "gushing blood," Martial said.

One of the injured individuals had to be extricated from the rubble by firefighters, Broadwell said.

According to the Clark County Fire Battalion chief, things could have been worse had the mishap happened later on in the day. There were reportedly few people present at the time of the incident. The call to them was made at 6:18 a.m.

The exact number of people who were present at the supermarket was not mentioned. But the store’s deli supervisor, Adolfo Navarrete, told the Review-Journal that more than a dozen employees were able to vacate the premises safely through the back door.

"I just see the windows breaking like it is an earthquake," he stated. "And I look behind me and I see a bunch of debris and dust."

Rescuers made sure that there were no gas or electrical issues after the collapse. They also performed a secondary search before declaring it was all clear.

As of this writing, the cause of the collapse has yet to be reported. County building inspectors are looking into the matter.

However, Broadwell noted that the supermarket was an old building. The strip mall has been up since 1979.

No neighboring businesses were damaged as a result of the incident.

Following the collapse, La Bonita's general manager said that all employees were given a paid day off. They also offered medical or emotional support services if required. Some employees would be relocated to other locations while the Las Vegas store remains closed.

Teri Williams, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Business and Industry, said the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration would conduct an investigation to determine whether any violations of health and safety standards or regulations may have contributed to the collapse.

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Representation image: supermarket Lucas Santos on Unsplash