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Awning collapses on Worthington man; greenhouse roof falls

The crushing weight of snow and ice brought the awning above the entrance of the Johnson Jewelry store to collapse Friday, striking a Worthington man who was on the sidewalk. He was taken by ambulance to Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington. (BRIAN KORTHALS/DAILY GLOBE)

WORTHINGTON -- The accumulated weight of snow and ice caused problems in Worthington Friday when an awning collapsed downtown and, in a separate incident, a roof collapsed at the old Flower Lane greenhouse.

The Worthington Fire Department was dispatched at 7:25 a.m. to the greenhouse after a 911 caller reported the odor of gas.

According to assistant fire chief Pat Demuth, the older part of the fiberglass greenhouse roof had collapsed, which had pulled the gas line that was routed through the structure into the house. The gas company was on the scene in short order and shut the gas off.

Several 911 calls came in shortly after noon reporting a man trapped under a collapsed awning at Johnson Jewelers. The victim, 65-year-old Gene Batcheller, was taken by ambulance to Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington. His condition is unknown.

The awning, made of aluminum, also collapsed from the weight of ice and snow.