Philadelphia Building Falls Onto Another During Demolition, Killing Six – VIDEO
PHILADELPHIA , PENNSYLVANIA – A building that was being torn down collapsed with a thunderous boom Wednesday, raining bricks on a neighboring thrift store, killing six people and injuring at least 13 others in an accident that witnesses said was bound to happen.
A somber Mayor Michael Nutter said those who died were one man and five women but authorities still didn’t know how many people had been in the store or on the sidewalk when the accident happened.
Early reports had been that one woman had died in the Wednesday morning accident, but rescuers using buckets and their bare hands to move bricks and rubble kept working through the evening, removing body bags at night. Nutter said the city’s emergency workers had been “diligent, determined, focused” in their rescue efforts.
“If anyone else is in that building, they will find them,” he said.
One woman was pulled from the rubble of the Salvation Army thrift store two hours after the 10:45 a.m. collapse when rescuers heard her voice, city fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. Rescuers were prepared to dig through the rubble all night looking for victims and survivors, he said.
Survivors were taken to hospitals with mostly minor injuries, and some had been treated and released by evening.
Officials from the Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at the scene.
The collapse involved an empty building that once housed a first-floor sandwich shop and apartments above. The thrift shop was on one side. The other side was an adult bookstore and theater that had been taken down within the last few months.
Several witnesses said they had been casting a wary eye on the demolition site and questioned how the workers were tackling the job. That raised questions about how closely the highly visible spot on Market Street, one of Philadelphia’s signature boulevards, was being monitored.
A Philadelphia contractor, Griffin Campbell Construction was handling the demolition.