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Landmark under demolition collapses; two dead

May 16, 1997

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. (AP) _ The main building at Biscayne Kennel Club, a 1920s landmark that was being demolished, collapsed early today, killing two workers.

The demolition work had been under way for weeks and the main structure was supposed to be taken down today.

``We do have two fatalities inside the structure,″ said fire-rescue Lt. Luis Fernandez. ``A total of five people were inside. Three were taken to local hospitals.″

The three were in stable condition, he said. The bodies of the two dead demolition workers remained inside the building as rescue workers tried to determine whether it was safe to extricate them.

Traffic along Interstate 95 slowed as commuters gawked at the destruction at the well-known track, the nation’s second oldest dog racetrack.

The track was being demolished in preparation for the sale of the land to adjacent Barry University. University spokeswoman Mireya Novo said Barry expected to wrap up the sale in June and build dormitories and possibly a elementary school once the dog track was cleared away.

The track has been one of Miami area’s most familiar landmarks since it opened before 10,000 fans in November 1926. But it fell victim to increased competition and rising expenses.

With attendance down to 1,000 a race, the track closed in late 1995.

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