June 5th, 2013
02:51 PM ET

Sources: Woman killed in Philly building collapse

  • Four-story building that was being demolished apparently fell onto Salvation Army store in central Philadelphia at about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, city Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says
  • 14 helped from rubble, 13 taken to hospitals, officials say; firefighters determining whether others trapped
  • Witness Jordan McLaughlin tells CNN affiliate KYW that a building "collapsed the wrong way and landed on a thrift shop" that had people inside.
  • OSHA: This was accident at demolition site (2140 Market St.)
  • Check back here for updates; full story here; Are you there? Send to iReport

[Posted at 2:51 p.m.] A woman has died as a result of Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia, two sources close to the investigation told CNN's Don Lemon.

No death was mentioned at the news conference that wrapped up near the site minutes ago.

[Posted at 2:43 p.m.] Fourteen people have been rescued from the site, 13 of whom have been hospitalized, officials told reporters moments ago.

Mayor Michael Nutter said that a search-and-rescue operation continues.

"Keep in mind we did not know, and we do not know, how many people were actually in the thrift store this morning when the wall collapsed this morning," and that's why the search continues, Nutter said.

[Posted at 2:16 p.m.] A Salvation Army official had this to say about the collapse that damaged the Salvation Army store:

"At this time, we are gathering information about the details of the building collapse at 22nd and Market Street in Philadelphia today. Our No. 1 concern is for the safety of our customers and the employees who were involved," Donald Lance, divisional Leader of the Salvation Army's Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Division, told CNN's Natalie Apsell.

"We are coordinating with the police and fire Department, the Office of Emergency Management and local authorities," Lance continued. "Also, we have sent our own disaster response team to the site to serve survivors and first responders. We ask for the public to pray for those involved."

[Posted at 2:13 p.m.] Mike Adam, who lives across the street from the site, says he took this picture from his apartment:

Adam told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that he and his fiancee were in their apartment when they heard sirens. He looked out a window and saw people running. Looking out a different window, he saw smoke and rubble.

"A block over, there's a fire department, so they were on the scene almost immediately," Adam said.

[Posted at 2:01 p.m.] While firefighters have been digging through the rubble, people from a nearby market have "graciously supplied (them) and officers with fresh apples and bananas," CNN iReporter Josh Rozell says.

[Posted at 1:30 p.m.] Philadelphia firefighters have just made another rescue, the city's mayor said.

A person who was buried in the rubble "for about two hours" was rescued by city fire personnel, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told CNN's Don Lemon minutes ago.

That person has been taken to a hospital with minor injuries, and it bring to 13 the number of people taken to hospitals, Nutter said.

Nutter said he didn't know how many other people might be trapped, noting that officials don't yet know how many people were inside the store.

[Posted at 1:21 p.m.] To give you an idea of where this happened: The site is in a heavily traveled area of downtown Philadelphia near the Mutter Museum, a popular tourist destination that houses medical oddities.

The museum was closed Wednesday due to the collapse, it said on Twitter.

[Posted at 1:12 p.m.] Witness Jordan McLaughlin told CNN affiliate KYW that firefighters arrived at the site just minutes after the collapse.

[Posted at 1:05 p.m.] Going back to what witness Jordan McLaughlin told CNN affiliate KYW - This is how he described what officials say was the under-demolition four-story building falling onto the adjacent Salvation Army store:

"(The building) collapsed the wrong way, and it landed on a thrift shop" that had people inside, he said. "It was scary. What happened next was a I dropped my stuff and I tried to help people out."

He said he helped two people out of the rubble, and others assisted a few other people in the first 10 minutes or so. After that, first responders asked him and other non-emergency personnel to leave the area.

"When the building collapsed ... there (were) people standing on the corner that (were) right next to the thrift shop. The building ... had really big aftershock on the ground. You felt it shake. There (were) people that actually fell over. People started screaming. They ran across the street.

"There (were) people inside the building. You heard them scream. Then we (Jordan and others nearby) went over to the building. We said, 'Can you hear us, can you hear us? Say something.' And we tried to find the people."

[Posted at 12:52 p.m.] “This is an active search and rescue. It’s ... delicate and dangerous.” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters.

The Salvation Army store had “workers and customers” at the time of the collapse, so it is difficult to know exactly how many others are trapped in the rubble, he said.

[Posted at 12:40 p.m.] A four-story building that was being demolished apparently fell onto a smaller building with  a Salvation Army store in central Philadelphia at about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, injuring and trapping a number of people, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said moments ago.

Two people are still believed to be trapped beneath the rubble, and emergency personnel are trying to extricate them, Ayers said. Twelve people have been taken to hospitals, he said.

The 12 injured people either have minor injuries or are in stable condition, he said.

[Posted at 12:31 p.m.] Witness Ari Barkin said the set-for-demolition building that fell onto the thrift shop was about three stories tall. The taller building used to house an adult bookstore, he said.

Witness Jordan McLaughlin told CNN affiliate KYW that the collapse made the ground shake, and some near him fell over.

[Posted at 12:15 p.m.] As many as 10 people are believed to be trapped following what officials say was an accident at a demolition site in Philadelphia Wednesday morning, city Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.

A witness, Ari Barkin, told CNN that a part of an unoccupied building set for demolition fell onto a one-story Salvation Army building. Debris also hit three cars and a sidewalk, he said.

Another witness, Jordan McLaughlin, told CNN affiliate KYW that a number of people were in the Salvation Army building, and that he helped pull two people from the rubble.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been told it was an accident at a demolition site, and it has investigators on the way, representative Leni Fortson said.

The collapse happened in the Center City area, at 22nd and Market streets, WPVI said.

soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. lerianis

    Don't they usually do 'pre-demolition simulations' so that things like this don't happen? What was the issue here, were those not done?

    June 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • I'mNotAlwaysRight

      Yes. But you realize this is real life and not a simulation. Technology doesn't account for everything.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • tgbvt

      I also have to ask why (given the proximity) the salvation army store was allowed to be open during the demolition???

      June 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom,Tom, the Piper’s Son

      @ atif khan
      Crying victim already? Sounds like you have a guilty conscience.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. William

    It wouldn't suprise me if some of those contractors were recent immigrants.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • William

      Either that or they work for NASA.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • I'mNotAlwaysRight

      Or it is an American thay dropped out of high school or wait probably even graduated since American public education is crap. Same level as third world countries.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • MizzGivens

      Even if they are immigrants, that doesn't mean they're not highly qualified to carry out their responsibilities. Accidents happen.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • William=Ignorant

      I'm loving 'Not Fat' right now (:

      June 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dmitry

      from Pakistan 🙂

      June 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • jacquesbouchard

      Given how rarely we hear about a situation like this, I'm reasonably certain that we carefully select an experienced and college-educated person (immigrant or otherwise) to destroy buildings in the heart of our capitol cities.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dave

    She took the slow train from Philly

    June 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fiona

    Why is Paris Jackson gettin as much or mor coverage on CNN as this?

    June 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Paris Jackson is going to die... no one will die in Philly

      June 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nojusticed

    In this case keeping these stores open within the demolition zone was chosen over the risk to human life.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ted

    This is America – the land of thrift and decaying infrastructure.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    I just walked up there. Crazy. Such a nice day out, the sidewalks on Market St were packed earlier! Horrible for those injured/trapped, but this could have been much worse!

    June 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AnotherMOM

    That young man has a good heart.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tom

    You had ONE job!

    June 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Barry G.

    Repairing and replacing aging buildings in our cities—not to mention the aging infrastructure of our country (eg., bridges, roads, power grids and systems,drains, etc.)—will certainly pose a challenge for all of us.

    Of course those who own or rent buildings should always make the safety of the occupants their highest priority.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Clown209`

    Bad day to be "popping tags" in Philly

    June 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. whoman

    A simple question.....why didn't the stupid fricken demo people clear the thrift store during the demo?????...what a useless bunch of idiots....but then that would have required common sense....and that doesn't seem to be a prerequisite...nowadays...how rediculous!!!

    June 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ellid

      Because normally this wouldn't have happened????

      June 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg90814

      I was thinking the same thing. Common Sense isn't so common.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Boom_building

    oh well,life sucks sometimes

    June 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ellid

    Sorry, but the hijackers who flew the planes in the Towers are all dead. Go peddle your ridiculous theories somewhere else.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • JIm

      No, they are in a cell in Crawford, Texas along with the Apollo 11 special effects wizards.

      June 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Josh

    Welcome to third world America, only second to Bangladesh.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • StevenR

      What does this have to do with the third world? Don't buildings collapse in all countries?

      June 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I have traveled to 37 countries in my life, and I take offense at that statement. Head out to Haiti, Somalia, or any '-stan' you can think of (heck I could name two dozen more) and come back and say that we are a Third World country sir. The fact is we have the highest standard of living in the history of mankind–the problem is we also have the highest ratio of whiners in the history of mankind as well.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JIm

      Did you even read the article? Do you even know how to read?

      June 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
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