Today, an apartment building undergoing demolition work collapsed, injuring thirteen people and killing one. While news about the collapse continues to filter in, here's a roundup of essential perspectives and information.
· A nearby builder interviewed by news crews, who identified himself as a union carpenter, noted that the building was undergoing demolition to the center part of the building without "bracing" (support) on the outer walls. He speculated that this may have contributed to the building collapse.
· At a press conference at 2:32 PM, the Chief of the Fire Department explained that the site is still an active search and rescue operation, and that the Fire Department would not cease operations until they had examined the entirety of the site. He said that the operation would likely take 12-24 more hours.
At the same conference, Mayor Nutter emphasized that "we did not know, and still do not know how many people were in the thrift store this morning. That is why the Fire Department search and rescue operation continues."
· There are unconfirmed reports of a second fatality:
· The emergency perimeter is bounded by 20th Street, Chestnut Street, the Schuylkill River, and the Ben Franklin Parkway. SEPTA service continues to bypass the perimeter.
· Philadelinquency continues to update information about the demolition contractor's criminal history, and the connections of the property owner to notorious blightlord Sam Rappaport. In sum: lots of shady activity on this property and this block.
· Here's an interview with Marc Newell, a civilian first-responder who rushed to help at the scene.
—Zach Patten contributed reporting and coverage