Search & Rescue Operations End At Building Collapse Scene - New York News

Search & Rescue Operations End At Building Collapse Scene

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

Fire department officials say a search and rescue operation ended Thursday afternoon at the scene of the deadly collapse that killed six people in Center City.

Rescuers are now turning over the site to the fire marshal, police and the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections as multiple investigations continue at the scene.

The city released the identities of all the victims who were killed or injured when the four-story structure toppled over onto a Salvation Army Thrift Shop at 22nd and Market streets at 10:43 a.m.

"Today, we mourn the loss of six Philadelphians who perished in the terrible tragedy at 22nd and Market streets on Wednesday. Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of the deceased," Mayor Michael Nutter said in a news release. "I ask all Philadelphians to remember those who perished and their families in their prayers and thoughts."

Crews worked through the day, night and again until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, searching with urban search and rescue dogs, acoustic equipment, a large crane and more. The FBI also assisted at the scene.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said Thursday's search focused on portion of the thrift store that remains standing and the area near a southern wall that officials were concerned could still fall.

Ayers said he's proud of the efforts of rescuers, and said the searchers were saying a lot of prayers as they dug through the rubble.

The fire commissioner highlighted the work of a new paramedic, on the job for less than six months, who was on duty during the collapse and was able to rescue four people.

The perimeter for the scene has been further reduced to between 21st and 23rd streets and Market to Arch streets, with 22nd Street remaining closed from Chestnut to Arch.

The mass transit system has been checked, Nutter said earlier in the day. There are no issues, but SEPTA has coordinated with the fire department to reduce the speed of the trolleys and trains under the area. The speed reduction was expected to be lifted by the afternoon.

One woman was pulled alive from the rubble around midnight. She has been identified as 61-year-old Myra Plekham, and she's reported to be in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Most of the other victims are on the mend. For example, three patients kept overnight at HUP for observation were discharged Thursday, like two others who went home Wednesday night.

It wasn't just firefighters and police officers who leapt into action when the building came down.

Some Good Samaritans made split-second decisions to risk their own lives when the building came down.

One was a high school student on his way to a dentist appointment that he never made. Construction workers and passersby also joined the first-responders in digging through all of that debris to search for survivors.

SkyFOX was overhead as crews pulled at least three people to safety.

Some more of the most incredible images we've seen coming out of this building collapse have been witnesses capturing the moments just after the roof and walls came down.

New video Wednesday night came from a roofing crew that rushed toward the dust cloud from their jobsite nearby. It shows cars just standing still at the edge of the rubble and people moving in to help those who were trapped.

There were more pictures sent to us by people watching the rescue effort and the destruction they saw.

Witnesses say, at first, the scene reminded them of the footage from 9/11.

We're also learning about the history of this doomed building. You may be shocked to find out who the owner is. He's actually known as the "porn king."

Court documents obtained by FOX 29 News show the contractor managing the demolition has a criminal record. L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said that there was an inspection of 2134 Market on May 14, but there were no indications of unsafe conditions.

And police confirm that they have obtained a blood sample from the operator of a back hoe that eyewitnesses tell FOX 29 hit the building just before it came down. Taking blood is standard practice as part of an investigation like this, they say.

The Occupational, Safety and Health Administration is probing the incident, as is the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 1 Female Employee Dead, 2 Wounded In Shooting At Darby Wellness Center

    1 Female Employee Dead, 2 Wounded In Shooting At Darby Wellness Center

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:37:46 GMT
    We are following breaking news in Darby, Pa. where one female employee is dead and two are wounded in a shooting at the wellness center on the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus.
    We are following breaking news in Darby, Pa. where one female employee is dead and two are wounded in a shooting at the wellness center on the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus.

  • GREAT FRIDAY AHEAD

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:22:00 GMT

    Friday: H-85 L-64

    We stay dry Friday with a comfy morning with lows in the upper 50s to low/mid 60s. Expect low humidity and sunny skies. High of 85. We warm back up near 90 for the weekend with a few pop up storms on Saturday and better chances on Sunday.

    Friday: H-85 L-64

    This Weekend

    Saturday: H-87 L-65

    Sunday: H-89 L-73

  • Arrest Made In Fatal Camden Hit And Run

    Arrest Made In Fatal Camden Hit And Run

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:45:20 GMT
    Surveillance Footage: Camden County Police DepartmentSurveillance Footage: Camden County Police Department

    According to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office Facebook page an arrest has been made in the fatal hit and Run that took place Saturday night.

    According to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office Facebook page an arrest has been made in the fatal hit and Run that took place Saturday night.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Family of 5-year-old with cancer upset with cruise line

    Family of 5-year-old with cancer upset with cruise line

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:23:04 GMT
    A Long Island family is upset that a cruise line won't accommodate them after their five-year-old son had to have emergency surgery for cancer.  Nicolas Colucci and the rest of his family was supposed to go on a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway on June 1, 2014.  On May 19 he ended up having to have surgery on his liver, gallbladder, diaphragm and lymph nodes after doctors found out he had a large cancerous tumor growing inside of his liver.
    A Long Island family is upset that a cruise line won't accommodate them after their five-year-old son had to have emergency surgery for cancer.  Nicolas Colucci and the rest of his family was supposed to go on a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway on June 1, 2014.  On May 19 he ended up having to have surgery on his liver, gallbladder, diaphragm and lymph nodes after doctors found out he had a large cancerous tumor growing inside of his liver.
  • Tornado kills N.J. couple in Va. campground

    Tornado kills N.J. couple in Va. campground

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:06:16 GMT
    Virginia State Police photoVirginia State Police photo
    A New Jersey couple was killed after a tornado caused a tree to fall on their tent at a popular campground, according to Virginia State Police. Lord Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega, of Jersey City, were killed Thursday morning as a fierce storm ripped through the campground, police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
    A New Jersey couple was killed after a tornado caused a tree to fall on their tent at a popular campground, according to Virginia State Police. Lord Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega, of Jersey City, were killed Thursday morning as a fierce storm ripped through the campground, police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
  • Mom: 4-year-old banned from doughnut shop

    Mom: 4-year-old banned from doughnut shop

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:05 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:05:13 GMT
    4-year-old Justin Otero is a curious guy, but his curiosity got him into some trouble at his local Connecticut doughnut shop.
    4-year-old Justin Otero is a curious guy, but his curiosity got him into some trouble at his local Connecticut doughnut shop.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices