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Pennsylvania home collapses, kills 1 worker, injures another

A two-story Philadelphia house that was in the process of being demolished on Monday, June 4, collapsed on top of two of the construction workers at the excavation site. The incident occurred just a few minutes before 11 a.m.

Some members of the excavation crew were pulling away different portions of the home that morning when a rear wall apparently buckled under pressure and gave way. As it did, it trapped the men beneath it.

One of the trapped workers was fortunately able to dig himself from beneath the rubble to safety. His 60-year-old co-worker was not as lucky, however. By the time emergency crews were ultimately able to clear enough of the building materials to make it to the trapped worker, he had already expired.

By afternoon, the building’s structure was still considered to be unsafe. The fire commissioner noted that he actually had to call off all rescue efforts because of how unstable th remaining structure appeared to be.

Representatives with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections were on hand to aid in the investigation into the building collapse.

A preliminary review of the city’s property records shows that the building had been previously labeled as being “structurally compromised.” In fact, city officials had apparently been so concerned about an impending collapse of the home that they recommended demolition workers only removing its brick by hand instead of using machinery to do so.

This incident occurred nearly five years to the day of another deadly Philadelphia building collapse. On June 5, 2013, a brick wall was left unsupported while a structure next to a Salvation Army thrift store was being demolished. It collapsed, falling on the retail outlet. In that incident, 13 people were injured, and six lost their lives.

Those who work on construction sites are particularly vulnerable to being injured or killed, namely because of the heavy machinery they operate or materials that they lift. If you suffered debilitating injuries or a loved one died on a construction site, a Dauphin workplace injury attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Part of building collapses in Pennsylvania, killing one of two trapped workers,” June 06, 2018

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