Six people were killed when a four-story building being demolished collapsed onto a Salvation Army store in downtown Philadelphia. At least 14 others were injured. It’s unclear whether those numbers could rise since authorities are unsure how many people were actually in the store or on the sidewalk when the accident happened.
Demolition crews had been working at the site for weeks. Witnesses had been concerned over the way the crews had been dismantling the building, fearing just such an accident would happen. One witness said for weeks, worker have “been standing on the edge, knocking bricks off," he said. "You could just see it was ready to go at any time.” Other witnesses spotted an unbraced, 30-foot section of wall and predicted the whole building would simply fall down.
Finally, the shell of the building did collapse, with the whole side of one wall falling down on top of the Salvation Army store. Thousands of bricks and wood fell on people in the store, trapping them. A construction worker who was on a job across the street from the site said a crane removed a support beam from the front of the building and the wall next to the store began to sway. Another witness reported a backhoe hitting the back of the building at the same time.
Emergency responders were using buckets and their bare hands to remove the bricks and debris that fell on victims, rescuing thirteen people. One woman managed to walk out of the collapse on her own. Rescuers were also seen carrying body bags away from the site.
Site of building collapse in Philadelphia.
Our North Carolina injury law firm has covered several incidents of unsafe structures causing serious injuries. Tragically, as in this accident, there can also be fatalities.
If you or a family member gets injured in a slip or fall and you believe the owner or builder of the building or business where the accident occurred could have prevented the incident, begin to learn about your legal rights and options for filing an injury claim by reading this article. We also maintain an online library of attorneys' answers to frequently asked questions regarding slip and fall injury cases