Crews to determine what’s next for cracking building in downtown - KPTV - FOX 12

Crews to determine what’s next for cracking building in downtown Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A large crack in a building and the threat of collapse caused quite a scare in downtown Portland on Tuesday. 

Crews were dispatched to the high rise building at 1400 Southwest 5th Avenue around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud cracking and ripping sound. A large crack had formed along the outside of the building and the concrete was beginning to cave outward. At one point, debris was seen falling from the damaged area. 

A fire alarmed was activated and hundreds of people evacuated the building. No injuries were reported.

Although building engineers determined that the building was structurally safe around 2 p.m. Tuesday, the building is expected to be closed for at least a few days as crews work to put scaffolding in place. 

Crews allowed people back into the building Wednesday morning to retrieve their belongings. 

The building houses offices for Oregon Health & Science University and eBay, among other businesses, as well as a KinderCare child care center that remained closed Wednesday. One woman said her grandson had to go to another KinderCare facility Wednesday morning. 

"So it's a rough transition, he's 4, obviously it was rough this morning when we dropped him off, but he has a place to go and that's important and he'll be safe there and he'll have a good day," said Sheila Johnson. 

Johnson and others said they appreciated how KinderCare staff handled the evacuation. 

The building is managed by Melvin Mark Companies. A spokesperson said they are waiting for engineers to finish a review to determine what caused the cracking tile panels. 

A spokesperson for the building's management company said they are confident the building has positive and up-to-date inspection reports. 

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