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. lazyboyPA

    Thank god that one lady was still able to talk on her cell phone while being taken away on the stretcher!!

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

      Yes, because the last thing you want to do when you've been pulled from the rubble is call family and let them know you're ok.

      June 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dena K

    I don't understand why nearby buildings wouldn't be cleared during a demolition- isn't this always a possibility?

    June 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • fiona

      I don't understand why anyone would go to work next to a masonry building being demolished, much less shop in a store next to one.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Boater39

    At least your last name is fitting.... You and your posts are as irrelevant as the "famous" person with the last name Bieber....

    June 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Peter

    Later CNN is gonna quote someone for an article related to this as "Like a Warzone" or anything including the cliche word "warzone".

    June 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mia Dee

      Yes, and don't forget, the residents there are "resilient" because they are "Philidelphia strong" in the wake of that "warzone"..

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

      Yes, and Mia Dee don't forget the best bit: everyone involved in the rescue and recovery, and all the surviving victims, will be lauded as "heroes."

      June 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blahface76

      I will "keep those affected by this senseless tragedy in my prayers."

      June 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Karma would be your roof falling on your head in the next few hours.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      No, this happened in Philadelphia, a "hardscrabble, down-and-out town full of miserable sports fanatics trying to crawl out of its post-industrial blue-collar slob heritage while always being stuck in the spotlight of NYC and DC." If this happened in a city that is a darling of the national media, such as Boston, then it's "Boston Strong," but people in Philadelphia are only uneducated low-lives. Remember that – this is how the story will be reported.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      I can't believe the relief concert hasn't been scheduled yet.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Higgidy

      To Brian: "Uneducated lowlives"?.. really? Such a generalization and the calibur of predjudice is truly indicative of someone that is uneducated... especially idiotic comments in the wake of death and injuries. c'mon dude...

      June 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • flaitguy

      How many "heroes" do you think will come out of this one? It seems like in every tragedy there just happens to be a couple dozen heroes walking around the area. Cooincidence? I think not.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blahface76

      There's a hero
      If you look inside your heart.
      You don't have to be afraid
      Of what you are.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mia Dee

    There is a difference between "accident" and "negligence". In this completely unnecessary incident of gross stupidity, the negligent demolition crew is blaming the BUILDING for collapsing in the wrong direction??!! Really? How about closing off a certain block radius whenever you are demolishing a building -PERIOD! The before photo shows the thrift store as being connected by a shared wall to the building and cars on sidewalk were also damaged. So who gets the lawsuit? The building or the demolition crew? Idiots. Wait till the judge hears that excuse

    June 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • bdub

      From a untrained eye, this was an accident waiting to happen. I walk by this site daily and often wondered about the safety. Just yesterday, a worker was on the roof of the thrift shop with a 20' ladder against the wall of the building (now collapsed removing bricks. no safety harness, and throwing the bricks.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • scmtns

      Clearly just an unfortunate accident. Unions are incapable of making mistakes.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • fiona

      The company that holds the demolition contract will be sued, but subrogation may come into it.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Kansas) "Right Wing Insanity"

    OSHA: This was accident at demolition site (2140 Market St.)? Stating the obvious. The U S. GOVT. NO LONGER HAS A NEED FOR YOU.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fred Flintstone

    Me too!!!

    June 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. uncover

    Published on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Common Dreams

    Bilderberg Group Gathers Global Elite at UK Hotel
    What do the world's most powerful individuals discuss when they all get together? The answer is the world's worst kept secret

    – Jon Queally, staff writer

    June 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. hih

    What nit wits that would not clear adjacent buildings..no excuse for this

    June 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Richy

    Oh but this will NEVER happen in the United States

    June 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LALA85

    you guys are all jerks! People that were hurt during this incident had no idea that the building near them where being demolished, if they had known they wouldn't of had been there. Go find something else to complain about like your crappy lives that require you to judge other people and call them stupid. This country has way to much ignorance.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |


      June 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sam

    Someone popped a tag too hard.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Macelmore

    Glad everyone is ok. They should have gone to the thirft shop down the road.

    I'm going to pop some tags.....

    June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Austin

    macklemore's song was a 'smash' for thrift stores....

    June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    where in china did this happen? what a joke 3rd world country china is. everything built there will collapse.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
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