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Windstorm responsible for collapse at La Bonita Supermarket

La Bonita Supermarket General Manager discusses cause for collapse
Posted at 3:34 PM, Oct 15, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — La Bonita Supermarkets' general manager says that severe windstorms were responsible for the collapse of its Desert Inn Road location back in August.

Armando Martinez says he learned about the cause in a letter sent by an engineer to Clark County's Building and Fire Prevention Department.

“The week leading up to it there were some really bad windstorms out there and that stuff, especially windstorms and rainstorms stick out to us because a lot of stuff happens at the stores, shopping carts everywhere, and there are certain protocols we need to follow,” Martinez said.

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The collapse happened at the La Bonita Supermarket on Desert Inn Road near Eastern Avenue on Aug. 13. The front of the building came tumbling down on the store's parking lot around 6 a.m.

The collapse left four people with minor injuries and a large pile of rubble in front of the store.

"Something like this though, we could have never imagined anything like this," Martinez said.

On the day of the collapse, Clark County immediately shut down the store and they required the property owners to hire an engineer and find out what led to the collapse.

It was at that point Martinez says he realized he was left with more than 100 employees that he needed to account for. He transferred them to the other six stores that they have throughout the valley.

“We try to keep our employees close to us and we want our employees happy," Martinez explained. "No matter what we have to keep these guys on board."

He says out of their seven stores the one located on Desert Inn Road was the busiest. The collapse came during a very difficult time Martinez says, in the middle of a health crisis and a nationwide staff shortage.

“If it was up to us, we would be open tomorrow, obviously we want a safe store, we want a safe building, and we want to get back in there as soon as possible,” Martinez said.

He says they are waiting for the green light from the property owners to be able to reopen.

He says the Las Vegas area supermarket chain will work with the county to ensure that every employee and customer is safe during their operations.