Dramatic SEPTA video captures wall collapse

A still from the video of the building collapse.
A still from the video of the building collapse.
Posted: July 20, 2013

A dramatic video of the Market Street building collapse was captured by a camera on a SEPTA Route 31 bus at the moment the four-story wall fell on top of a Salvation Army thrift store June 5.

Six people were killed and 14 injured in the disaster.

The video shows the building's west wall coming down in a cloud of dust as pedestrians run and vehicles veer out of the way.

The bus was just west of 22d Street, traveling east on Market. Its security camera captured the only known video of the moment the building went down.

The wall can be seen folding over in a single piece onto the rear of the store at 10:41 a.m. The front of the store was relatively unscathed.

The compelling video was provided by SEPTA in response to a Right-to-Know request by The Inquirer.

The videos show an initial panic on the corner of 22d and Market, followed by moments of surreal normalcy as the dust subsides and pedestrians and drivers go about their business, almost oblivious to the collapsed building.

Then several people can be seen running toward the building to attempt to help, and fire trucks begin to arrive and rescue efforts begin.

The District Attorney's Office obtained a copy of the video for its grand jury investigation into the building collapse.

The District Attorney's Office initially refused to permit The Inquirer to obtain a copy of the video from SEPTA, despite its own determination that any records in the public domain before the grand jury was impaneled should be considered public information.

Edward F. McCann Jr., first assistant district attorney, spelled out that openness position in a July 11 letter to City Solicitor Shelley Smith, as the Nutter administration has refused to release to the public many records related to the collapse.

On Thursday, the District Attorney's Office withdrew its opposition to SEPTA's release of the bus video.


>Inquirer.com

Find the video and more coverage of the Market Street building collapse at www.inquirer.com/collapse


Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or pnussbaum@phillynews.com

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