Public Shows Strong Support for Families of Men Killed in Building Collapse Accident

December 14, 2020 Updated: December 14, 2020

The public is showing strong support for the families of two young men killed in a recent construction-site collapse in London, Ontario.

Henry Harder, 26, and John Martens, 21, died on Dec. 11 after a four-storey wall of a building they were constructing at 555 Teeple Terrace gave way. Five other workers were injured in the accident.

Harder, from Tillsonburg, Ontario, leaves behind his wife and their 3-week-old baby, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family. Martens, from Langton, Ontario, is survived by his parents, girlfriend and siblings, according to his obituary.

Harder’s campaign was started by Pete Friesen from Simcoe, Ontario, and it has already garnered nearly $90,000 of support, far surpassing its $25,000 goal. All funds will go directly to his family, and the campaign asks supporters to “please pray for the Harder family as well as they go through this tough time.”

A GoFundMe campaign was also created for the families of all the workers killed or injured in the accident, including Martens.

That campaign was created by Shy Forsyth on behalf of East Elgin Concrete Forming Ltd, a concrete contractor based in Tillsonburg, Ontario. Forsyth, who works as an administrator assistant of the company, wrote that “the funds raised will be allocated directly to the individuals/families who were impacted by this tragedy.” It has raised $101,470 so far, far surpassing its $25,000 goal.

London Mayor Ed Holder sent his condolences to the families of Harder and Martens on Friday.

“My heart breaks for the families of those involved in today’s tragedy on Teeple Terrace,” Holder said on Twitter. “Please know that so many in our community are thinking of you, and your loved ones. You are not alone.”

Their funerals will be hosted by the Lighthouse Gospel Church in Port Burwell. Harder’s visitation will start on Monday night while Martens’s will be on Wednesday night.