Last night, a mudslide caused a retaining wall to collapse in Bella Vista in an excavation site. Though no one was hurt, it's understandably getting quite a bit of attention: All the major Philly news sites and many of the blogs have taken it upon themselves to document the incident, and inquire into causes and responses.
While it's possible that a setback in an excavation job would have made news even if the city hadn't experienced a fatal, tragic building collapse last week, it probably wouldn't have been given the same amount of coverage.
The collapse did damage four adjacent buildings and eight residents were evacuated from their homes. The wall collapsed because flooding washed away temporary supports to the retaining wall, causing mud to push it over.
According to Hidden City, nearby residents felt that the excavation was a botched job, but L&I inspectors at the site said that the contractor had taken necessary precautions. It's understandable that neighbors wouldn't be inclined toward giving contractors the benefit of the doubt, it raises questions about the future of construction and demolition for at least the next few months. Will L&I be flooded with calls from well-meaning but misinformed citizens?
· "Act Of God" Causes Collapse Of Garden Walls At Bella Vista Construction Site [Hidden City]
· South Street residents evacuated after wall collapse [ABC Philly]
· Mudslide Causes Wall Collapse in Philly [NBC Philly]