On early Wednesday, a vacant building in Philadelphia crumbled onto a thrift shop. The officials said that the collapse killed six people and trapped a dozen more under wreckage. On late Wednesday, Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia, confirmed that five were women and one was man among the six dead people. However, he did not release any other information about them.
The rescue and search crews searched for trapped victims into the night. The mayor said that search and rescue would be continued, as they did not know the actual number of people present in the shop during the collapse.
Lloyd Ayers, the Fire Commissioner, said to the reporters that the tedious rescue mission would be continued at least until Thursday.
Total 13 wounded people were taken to hospital and five of them were discharged on Wednesday afternoon.
Witnesses said that with a menacing thunder, the building fell apart onto its next-door Salvation Army Thrift Store. A witness named Jordan McLaughlin said that everybody standing near the building could feel the shake. He said that people screamed, ran across the street, and some people got trapped inside the store.
McLaughlin helped two people to come out of the building. According to him, other four or five people could also get out with the help of construction workers and bystanders. Another witness Patrick Glynn said that people tried moving debris and rocks to aid the victims stuck in the ruins. He said that he was aware that the building would collapse someday sooner or later.
Ari Baker was in his office during this incident. He said that he rushed toward the window after hearing a very unusual sound and saw nothing except a trail of dust coming out of the wreckage.
Police labeled the incident as an ‘industrial accident’. An investigation will be done by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The incident happened in Center City neighborhood, a heavily traveled area in Philadelphia.