Contractor employee missing in Martin building collapse


One person was missing in the collapse Tuesday afternoon at a construction site at Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe near Wayne Road, south of Chambersburg, fire company officials said.

The New Franklin Fire Company. said the person is a contractor working on building a new bakery line at the facility, according to Trooper Megan Frazer, a Pennsylvania State Police public information officer working on behalf of the fire company.

A search is underway and search dogs were assisting at the scene near Garber Road in Guilford Township, Frazer said. While the Franklin County Coroner’s Office was on site, it was to provide services from its “rehabilitation unit,” intended to provide food and other resources to emergency responders.

After:Coroner brings comfort to fire, crime scene with rehabilitation unit

In an emailed statement, Julie Martin, the company‘s social media manager, said Wohlsen Construction, the general contractor headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is “still working to secure the site and to ensure that all its personnel are safe”.

It was not immediately clear on Tuesday whether the missing person worked directly for Wohlsen or was a contractor.

Chris Martin, spokesperson for Wohlsen, said the company is “working with first responders and authorities to investigate what happened and will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Fire engines and emergency services personnel can be seen in the distance on Garber Road alongside Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe, home to Martin's Potato Rolls, just outside Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  Dispatchers reported that a building had collapsed at the factory on Tuesday afternoon.

All Martin employees represented

Martin said the plant had “some construction issues” just after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

“Several newly erected walls have collapsed; these walls are part of our new construction area and they are not connected to our production facility,” she wrote. “All of Martin’s employees are listed at this time; none were in the construction area when the walls collapsed.”

A fire police officer is seen outside the Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe factory, home to Martin's Potato Rolls, outside of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  Dispatchers reported a building collapse Tuesday afternoon at the plant.

Firefighters, rescue brigade on site

Multiple fire companies and emergency units responded to the collapse, Frazer said.

A Washington County 911 supervisor said Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Co., which was already in Franklin County on a transfer assignment, responded to the building collapse. The Hagerstown Fire Department, a battalion chief and a rescue team from Funkstown are also responding to the 1000 block of Garber Road near Chambersburg, she said.

Founded in the 1950s, Martin’s is a family-owned consumer goods company headquartered in Chambersburg. The company is known for its potato rolls and its products are sold in major grocery stores in the eastern United States and in food service establishments around the world.

Recent construction work to expand the Martin’s Potato Rolls site

In a month of March Franklin County economic outlook storyMartin Chairman Tony Martin, a member of the third generation of Martins to work in the family business, said a partnership with restaurant Shake Shack has propelled the company onto the international stage, which now has headquarters in 40 countries .

To meet this and other demands, Martin’s is adding a new bakery line that will include 260,000 square feet of production capacity and a 16,000 square foot cold hold. The project at the company’s headquarters off Pa. 316, also known as Wayne Road, is ahead of schedule.

Large cranes were seen at the site near Interstate 81 for several days.

This story will be updated.

A Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe van and tractor-trailer are seen heading towards fire police at Ingram Drive and Lesher Road, just outside of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  Canton.

Contributors: Colleen McGrath, Julie E. Greene, Amber South, Michelle Gannasi, Joe Mason, Joseph Deinlein


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