One man and six women died when a building collapse in Philadelphia Wednesday morning. One of the women who died was on the first day of her new job.
A four story building collapsed on top of a two story building about 10:40 Wednesday morning. Initially 13 people were rescued, and a single woman was found dead.
The two story building housed a Salvation Army Thrift Store. After the rubble was removed, five more bodies were found. One of those was a 35-year-old woman. She was a cashier at the thrift store, it was her first day on the job.
Philadelphia’s mayor said the name of the woman was not disclosed at the request of the family.
“I ask all Philadelphians and all who care to keep that Philadelphia woman and her family in your prayers,” Mayor Michael Nutter said.
One woman rescued during the operation had been buried for more than two hours. She was able to walk away after paramedics examined her. She waved at the rescuers as she was taken away on a gurney.
The rescue effort is expected to continue into the next 12 to 24 hours. Fresh crews have been brought in to continue the rescue effort.
Mayor Nutter confirmed that all of the six deceased victims were inside of the thrift store when the buildings collapsed. He promised that the search and rescue effort would continue until they were certain that there were no more victims in the debris.
Fire Commissioner Ayers said that their focus was on areas in which a high level of interest was shown by the rescue dogs. He said that in some of the areas were where others had previously been rescued, and the dogs may have been picking up their scent.
More than 125 people were involved in the search, and they had more than 25 pieces of equipment at their disposal.
“There are firemen, police, construction guys digging out, because I believe people are down there,” said Corey Vey who works nearby. “It’s crazy right now.”
Of the thirteen injured, who were taken to local hospitals, most had received minor injuries. Five had more serious injuries. Two have been released, and the other three are being kept overnight for observation.
“I’ve never encountered anything like this before any time in my life, and I don’t want to see it again,” said Vey, who was driving down 22nd Street right before Market and saw the building come down. “I feel really lucky. That brick landed in my passenger seat. Lucky for the rainguard on my window that saved me from getting hit.”
Many Philadelphians will remember the woman who died while she was on her first day at her new job.
The Guardian Express