Man hit by rebar, injured in Amway Arena implosion

Man was block away when struck in leg by rebar, officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man nearly two blocks away from the old Amway Arena was struck and injured by a piece of rebar when the building was imploded, Orlando fire officials said.

The building was imploded about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, and 33-year-old Eric Eliason was hit on Amelia Avenue, more than a block away from the site.

According to the police report, Eliason was struck by an 8-inch piece of rebar in the lower part of his shin. A witness, Eliason's friend, told police he heard a whistling sound, felt the heat and small pieces of concrete strike him when the the rebar hit the ground in front of him. Eliason's friend wasn't hurt.

The friend said he saw Eliason stumble back and fall to the ground after a piece of debris came toward the crowd.

Eliason was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.  He was alert and talking while emergency officials placed him on a stretcher.

Local 6 talked to Eliason's wife, Marybeth.

She said her husband has a broken fibula and had surgery Monday morning.

He is expected home to recover Tuesday or Wednesday.

She says they are both glad his injuries were not worse because they say the rebar had jagged edges.

Rebar, short for reinforcing bar, is made of steel and it's commonly used in construction.

According to the police report, the president of Dykon Explosive Demolition Corp. went to the hospital to pay for the medical expenses for Eliason.

The president told police the collected piece of rebar was the same product they use.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.

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