Inquirer confirms tapes: 'It wasn't my fault'

Posted: August 05, 2013

A week after the Market Street collapse, building inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer recorded two videos lamenting the loss of six lives and then shot himself to death.

The next day, NBC10 reported that in one video, Wagenhoffer said he blamed himself. "It was my fault," the station quoted him as saying.

Mayor Nutter's administration quickly refuted that, saying that city officials had reviewed the tapes and that Wagenhoffer had actually said: "It wasn't my fault." City officials declined to release the tapes, saying they were part of a grand jury investigation.

Last week, The Inquirer reviewed the tapes with the permission of Wagenhoffer's widow and confirmed that though he expressed grief over the collapse, he took no blame.

"I'm devastated by the deaths and injuries at 22d and Market," he said on the tape. "It wasn't my fault."

On Friday, a spokeswoman for NBC10 said the station stood by its story.

"While we believe our reporting to be accurate. We've said all along that we would correct it if we confirmed there was an error," Kathleen Burke said. "In June, NBC10 asked the City of Philadelphia and the lawyer representing the family of Mr. Wagenhoffer to review both videos with us. To date, that has not occurred."


Contact Julia Terruso at 267-639-8288, jterruso@phillynews.com, or follow @juliaterruso on Twitter.

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