September 5, 2013 |
THE SALVATION ARMY knew that its Market Street thrift store was already unstable and could collapse due to demolition work planned next door - but did nothing to prevent the eventual June collapse, according to a wrongful-death lawsuit filed yesterday by the family of a woman who died in the rubble. Mary Lea Simpson, 24, was among six people who died June 5 when the thrift store at 22nd and Market streets was crushed by the falling wall of a building being demolished next door. An additional 13 were trapped but survived.
August 21, 2013 |
THE WOMAN whose legs were amputated after being trapped for 13 hours beneath rubble from the Market Street building collapse filed a lawsuit yesterday, claiming several parties ignored signs of the impending danger. Mariya Plekan, 52, of Hunting Park, was shopping at the Salvation Army store when a three-story wall fell onto the store the morning of June 5. Firefighters pulled Plekan from under the debris shortly before midnight. The suit says that, as a result of the catastrophe, Plekan's entire lower body has been removed.
August 16, 2013 |
INSTEAD OF HEEDING written warnings of a potentially catastrophic collapse, the Salvation Army played "a dangerous game of chicken" with the owner of a building being demolished next door, an attorney said yesterday. The collapse on June 5 killed six and injured 14 who were inside the Salvation Army's thrift shop at 22nd and Market streets. So attorney Robert Mongeluzzi, citing emails among the city, the demolition-site owner and the Salvation Army that showed the charity was warned of dangerous conditions, said yesterday that he would add the Salvation Army as a defendant in litigation seeking civil damages.
July 19, 2013
SEPTA released video-surveillance footage yesterday from its Route 31 bus that captured the June 5 building collapse at 22nd and Market streets that killed six people and injured 14. The video shows the four-story wall crashing onto the adjacent Salvation Army thrift store at 10:41 a.m. as the bus, traveling east on Market Street, pulled up to the intersection. People scrambled away and cars sped off as a cloud of dust expanded, but some people soon started running toward the building.
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.