Death at New Tower
Two major earthquakes struck Knotty Pine Thursday, the first coming at 11:20 AM, killing one man, injuring several residents, and causing damage to buildings all around the city. Minor secondary quakes have come almost hourly since that first quake. The only death attributed to the quakes occurred at the construction site of Knotty Pine's new 10-story tower. George Hansen of suburban Central City was killed at approximately 4:45 PM when the second of two major quakes struck the near the center of town. The quake caused an I-beam that was being installed on the tower to fall from a crane and strike Mr. Hansen, killing him instantly. Several construction workers were trapped under rubble at the same time. Rangers were momentarily trapped inside Ranger Headquarters when the second quake jambed doors there. It took volunteers lead by Ranger Gray Wolf of Big Pine National Forest over an hour to free the trapped men.
Injured Crowd KP Hospital
At least two individuals were rushed to Knotty Pine Hospital for injuries they received during the quakes. The names of these two injured have not yet been released to the press. The waiting room and front lawn of KP Hospital were converted into temporary emergency treatment areas for the less seriously injured individuals. Dozens of citizens were treated for minor injuries from cuts and bruises to broken bones to eye and lung irritations from smoke and dust.
ES Director Holchman Praised
Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson commended Emergency Services director Bernie Holchman for his handling of city services during the peak of the emergency. Bernie managed and directed city employees and equipment. Bernie even had to call in trustee prisoners from State Prison to aid in rescue efforts. Two prisoners did try using the confusion downtown to cover their attempt to escape. Ranger Bill and Bernie foiled their attempt. Mr. Holchman praised the other prisoners for their assistance and hard work. Bernie sent a full report of the prisoners' work to the prison warden. Security during the crisis was handled by Sheriff Cal and officer O'Roark and volunteer patrolmen.
Minor Town Damage
Windows were broken all across town. Teams of workers led by Ranger Ralph Carpenter boarded up broken windows and swept up broken glass. Ranger Stumpy Jenkins helped with various other quake-related damage around the city. Henry Scott led teams of high school students and teachers going door-to-door checking on the health and welfare of families in all of the homes in town. Knotty Pine Bank has established a fund to help cover the costs of the earthquakes not covered by insurance or the state emergency disaster funds.
New Tower Safe
The companies involved in the construction of the 10-story tower had state and private inspectors check the integrity of the building. The building has passed inspection so far. Construction is expected to continue as soon as clean-up in Knotty Pine is completed.
Tower construction workers have gotten together and requested that the new tower be named Hansen Tower in memory of of their fallen boss, George Hansen. Ranger Bill, his men, as well as Bernie Holchman heartily agree with the name "Hansen Tower" for the new building.