Building Collapse Victim Tells Story of Survival - New York News

Building Collapse Victim Tells Story of Survival

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Linda Bell remembers everything.  From the time she walked into the basement of the Salvation Army Thrift Store to the moment the walls came crashing down.

"It felt like something blew up. It shook. You heard all this crumbling" Bell said.

After being released from the hospital Bell spoke to Fox 29's Chris O'Connell from her South Philadelphia home. She said moments after the collapse she thought she was dying.

"I knew that I was on my journey to a better place"

Bell, 50, estimates she was buried in the rubble for at least 15 minutes. Minutes that felt like hours.

"I just prayed. And I said god handle this situation carry me through the storm" she said.

Her voice still raspy from inhaling dust from the collapse Bell says she shops at the thrift shop on 22nd and Markets Streets every Wednesday for half price deals. Whatever she buys she gives away to her church or other charities. She says Wednesday God was looking out for her.

SkyFox was above and captured Bell being pulled from the rubble by firefighters and  good Samaritan Dave Heintz who happened to be working another construction project across the street.

"Once we saw all the debris. We ran down and actually helped get 6 people out" said Heintz.

We met Linda through her daughter Deshena Williams. Williams was frantically searching for her mother at the collapse site on Wednesday when she ran into Fox 29's Chris O'Connell who helped her track down her injured mother at the emergency room at University of Pennsylvania Hospital. O'Connell drove Williams to the hospital to see her mother.

On Thursday afternoon Bell was released from the hospital suffering from severe back injuries. But she is thankful to be alive to tell her story.

"I work for god. And he's got more work for me" she said.

Bell hopes one day to thank her rescuers in person. As for a potential lawsuit, Bell says she wants to concentrate on her recovery for now.

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