July 18, 2013 |
Philadelphia Deputy Mayor and Commerce Director Alan Greenberger acknowledged Tuesday that he did not alert city building inspectors after he was warned in May of potentially dangerous developments at a Center City demolition site. Within an hour of receiving that warning, Greenberger said, he got another e-mail suggesting the problems were being resolved. In a brief statement released by Mayor Nutter's press office, Greenberger confirmed a report in The Inquirer last weekend that at 4:54 p.m. May 22, he received an e-mail from Thomas J. Simmonds Jr., property manager for STB Investments Corp.
July 15, 2013 |
In the weeks before the deadly Market Street collapse, the building's owner repeatedly warned top city officials and Salvation Army officials that the demolition could endanger the adjacent Salvation Army thrift store. But that did not prompt the city to step in. Nor did it stop the owner from rapidly demolishing the building - with devastating consequences. E-mails and letters reviewed by The Inquirer show repeated warnings about a possible collapse with potentially deadly results.
June 26, 2013 |
Demolition at the site of a fatal building collapse at 22d and Market Streets resumed Monday, with officers from the police Crime Scene Unit on hand in case pertinent evidence was discovered. Workers began by removing debris from the lot that once housed a Salvation Army thrift store, flattened this month when an unsupported wall from a demolition site next door toppled. Six people were killed and 14 injured. Work also was poised to begin next door, where the owner, Richard Basciano, was negotiating to hire a separate demolition outfit.
June 17, 2013 |
For the first time that night, it was quiet on the pile. The rescue dog wasn't barking. The excavator digging up debris from the building collapse at the Salvation Army thrift shop was turned off. Firefighters from the elite Rescue 1 unit, drained from eight hours of pulling bodies from the rubble, were off to the side, awaiting their replacements and drinking water. Amid the mess and ruin, Capt. John O'Neill, 50, a search-and-rescue specialist from Squad 72, stood by himself.
June 14, 2013 |
THE SALVATION ARMY has a one-word answer for anyone who wondered if it rebuffed a request to put protective scaffolding over its Center City thrift shop: No. On Wednesday, the organization refused to address questions that arose after two lawyers separately claimed that the Salvation Army either denied or ignored requests to have scaffolding installed while a demolition crew tore apart a neighboring property at 22nd and Market streets. That four-story building crumbled on June 5, and flattened the narrow thrift store, killing six people and injuring 13 others.
June 13, 2013 |
The heavy equipment blamed for causing a building collapse that killed six people last Wednesday was only to be used that day for removing debris, and the contractor in charge of the site "didn't see" the excavator doing demolition, his defense attorney said Tuesday. Kenneth Edelin, attorney for contractor Griffin Campbell, said his client was on the job site at 22d and Market Streets when the building fell on the neighboring Salvation Army thrift shop. "He was scared to death, just like everybody else," Edelin said.
June 10, 2013 |
The excavator operator charged in the deaths of six people at a Salvation Army thrift store in Center City turned himself in to police Saturday. Sean Benschop, 43, refused to give a statement on his role in Wednesday's collapse, choosing instead to exercise his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. He will be arraigned, police said - it's unclear when - and an investigation will continue, they said. Benschop's arrival at Central Detectives headquarters, just off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on North 21st Street, capped several days of scrutiny surrounding the Hunting Park resident.
June 9, 2013 |
I STOPPED by the super swank Symphony House residences yesterday to have a chat with Richard Basciano about his killer building. "Is he expecting you?" the cranky concierge asked. Well, I didn't know if the owner of the crumbling building that flattened a neighboring Salvation Army thrift store was expecting me . But he should've been expecting someone - like officials from the city seeking answers about his choice of a discount demolition crew, for starters. Basciano's company paid some insta-demolition crew $10,000 for a job demo experts said should have cost closer to $250,000.
June 8, 2013 |
A Salvation Army store clerk filed suit Thursday against the owner and contractor in charge of demolition of the Center City building that collapsed on her store the day before. Nadine White, 54, of South Philadelphia, filed an emergency motion in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court asking for preservation of evidence and the right to start inspecting the wreckage on Saturday. The suit names as defendants Richard Basciano, the owner of the four-story building at 2136-38 Market Street; his company, STB Investments Corp.; Griffin T. Campbell; and his firm, Griffin Campbell Construction.