A funeral was held on Tuesday for one of two men who died last week after a four-storey building in west London, Ont., suffered a partial collapse.
The collapse took place at a worksite at 555 Teeple Terr. just before 12 p.m. Friday. Along with the two deaths, several other construction workers were hurt, with four of them sent to hospital.
As of Sunday, two of the workers have been discharged from hospital, while the other two remain there in stable condition.
The funeral service for Henry Harder was held at the Lighthouse Gospel Church in Port Burwell. It was led by Pastor John Dyck of the Church at Springfield, who had previously baptized Harder.
A 26-year-old man from Tillsonburg, Harder leaves behind his wife Margaret and their newborn baby girl.
During Tuesday’s service, Dyck described Harder as a humble and forgiving man who did not hold grudges and always looked for the positive in people.
“Henry was a hard worker and he provided for his family,” Dyck said during a livestream of the funeral shared by the Lighthouse Gospel Church.
“He didn’t toot his own horn, he didn’t try to make his accomplishments and good attitude known to people, he just lived it.”
The pastor spoke of the love shared between Harder and his wife, adding that Harder had been quiet and reserved, but woke up a new man upon meeting her.
“They were married for two years and four months exactly and lived a beautiful short life together,” Dyck said.
Described by Dyck as a proud father, the pastor also touched on Harder’s love for his newborn daughter.
“Henry had said in the past, ‘all babies look the same,’ but not this one,” Dyck said.
“He thought the world of their daughter and he loved his wife very much.”
Support continues to pour in for those affected by last week’s partial collapse.
A GoFundMe campaign launched for Harder’s family has garnered more than $95,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
Another GoFundMe campaign launched by East Elgin Concrete Forming, the company that employed the workers on site during the time of the partial collapse, has raised more than $145,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
Elsewhere, a post on Facebook offering tribute has garnered hundreds of shares. In the post, Facebook user Denise Roy Kennedy attaches a photo of a construction vest hanging outside their home, with the aim of honouring victims with the gesture.
A funeral for John Martens, the other man who died in Friday’s partial collapse, has been planned for Thursday.
The service for the 21-year-old from Langton will also take place at the Lighthouse Gospel Church.
Ontario’s Ministry of Labour continues to investigate the partial collapse at the 555 Teeple Terr. worksite.
Labour Minister Monte McNaughton told Global News on Monday that while he can’t say when the investigation will be complete, “I can commit and promise to those workers and to the entire community of London and southwestern Ontario that we’re going to get them answers.”
The four-storey building in question was under construction with the intent of opening as a set of luxury apartments in spring or summer of 2021.
In an email to Global News from Nest on Wonderland, the company that owns the building, president Michelle Doornbosch says the company is cooperating with the Ministry of Labour and conducting its own investigation as well.
“We are anxious to provide answers as to the cause of this accident and to this end have worked with our insurer to retain some of the top forensic structural engineers in the country to investigate,” Doornbosch said.
“We will share the results of this investigation once they become available.”
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