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House Collapses in Philly, 8 Injured

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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At least eight people were injured, one critically, after a row house under renovation collapsed in Philadelphia Monday (July 29) morning, according to news reports.

An official cause of the collapse was not immediately available Monday afternoon, however initial reports indicated a gas explosion could be responsible.

Row house collapses in Philadelphia

A row house under renovation in Philadelphia collapsed Monday in what witnesses call an "explosion." Authorities say they are investigating the collapse that injured eight, including a contractor and a baby.

Authorities told reporters that in addition to the home that was reduced to rubble at 11:09 a.m. ET; at least three other homes were damaged, or partially collapsed during the blast.

Video and photos from the scene show a large pile of debris in between row homes.

Contractor Critically Injured

The victims were not immediately identified.

Officials told reporters that the critically-injured patient was a contractor, reportedly working on a hot water heater in the home under renovation. His employer was not immediately identified.

The other seven injured, including two children, were reported in stable condition Monday afternoon, according to a local FOX News affiliate.

Dozens of homes in South Philadelphia nearby were evacuated, according to reports.

Witnesses: Explosion, Baby Thrown

Witnesses say they heard a loud explosion moments before the structure toppled into the street.

“It was definitely an explosion,” one witness told FOX 29. After he heard the sound, he said he peered out the window and noticed the debris.

Downtown Philadelphia
Adam Jones / Flickr

Monday's collapse was the third building collapse in Philadelphia in nine weeks.

Also, Carol McKenna, a witness reported to live a few doors down from the scene, told the television station she felt her house shake.

“…What I heard was a loud explosion. My house shook, and I didn’t know whether to look outside or not look outside.”

McKenna told the news station she looked and saw the street covered in debris, saw flames, could smell gas and called 9-1-1.

Another witness, Mike McGraw Jr., told a CBS affiliate that he watched a man being hosed down by firefighters.

“They threw this baby out the window because the girl was on fire, and the fireman had to catch the baby,” he told KYW.

Philadelphia Collapses

The incident was the third building collapse in Philadelphia in nine weeks.

On July 11, five workers were trapped and one injured when steel beams underneath the fifth floor gave way at Temple University’s new Science Center under construction.

A connector failure was likely the cause of that collapse, according to a spokesman for the university.

Investigations into the campus collapse have been launched by federal, state and university authorities.

On June 5, a downtown building under demolition toppled onto an adjacent Salvation Army thrift store, killing six people and injuring 13 others.

That collapse remains under investigation, though an equipment operator has been criminally charged in the case.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Contractors; Explosions; Health and safety; Renovation

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