Part of Building Collapses in Pennsylvania, Killing One of Two Trapped Workers

June 6, 2018

A two-story home being demolished in Philadelphia, Penn., partially collapsed Monday, killing one of two contractors who had been trapped, officials said.

Two men were working on the building shortly before 11 a.m. when the rear of the property collapsed, trapping them, police said. One worker was able to escape, but the other, a 60-year-old, remained trapped under the rubble and was pronounced dead shortly after 11 a.m.

Fire commissioner Adam Thiel called it “a very difficult afternoon here, for our responders as well as everybody who’s affected by this incident.” He said the building “is still very unstable, which is why we’re not inside of it anymore.”

The city Department of Licenses and Inspections was at the scene, along with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to investigate the cause of the collapse.

City property records listed the home as “structurally compromised,” and the demolition permit said the masonry building was to be completely demolished “by hand-method only” to “resolve dangerous case.”

The collapse happened just one day before the fifth anniversary of the collapse of another building in the city that left six people dead and 13 injured. A towering brick wall left unbraced during a demolition project fell and crushed an adjacent Salvation Army thrift store on June 5, 2013.

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