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Inspector In Philadelphia Collapse Commits Suicide

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release
By: PATRICK WALTERS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia officials have identified an inspector who fatally shot himself a week after a building collapse that killed six people as a dedicated 16-year veteran of the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says 52-year-old inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer was found dead in his truck Wednesday night with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

City officials say he was the Department of Licenses and Inspections employee who conducted a May 14 inspection of the building, weeks before the June 5 collapse.

Gillison says the department is in mourning and Waggenhoffer "did nothing wrong." Waggenhoffer leaves behind a wife and son.

The downtown building was being demolished when it collapsed onto a neighboring Salvation Army Thrift Store, killing two employees and four customers. Police allege a heavy equipment operator had been high on marijuana.


Associated Press Release
By: KATHY MATHESON, KEITH COLLINS and MICHAEL RUBINKAM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- For weeks, people working nearby watched with growing concern as a demolition crew took down a vacant four-story building next to a thrift store at the edge of downtown Philadelphia. Some worried that it would simply fall down.

On Wednesday, the unstable shell of a building collapsed into a massive heap of bricks and splintered wood, taking part of the Salvation Army thrift store with it and killing six people. Fourteen others were injured.

Rescuers using buckets and their bare hands to move bricks and rubble worked deep into Thursday morning in a search for survivors and victims.

It was unclear what role the demolition work might have played in the collapse, but the accident raised questions about how closely the highly visible spot on Market Street was being monitored.


Associated Press Release

By KATHY MATHESON and KEITH COLLINS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia's mayor says the collapse of a downtown building that was being demolished has killed six people.

Mayor Michael Nutter discussed the accident and the search and rescue attempts Wednesday night.

Fire officials earlier had reported one woman was killed and 13 people were injured in the accident. But body bags were removed from the rubble hours later.

The four-story building collapsed Wednesday morning.

Several witnesses said they had been casting a wary eye on the demolition site and questioned how the workers were tackling the job. They say they heard a loud rumbling sound immediately before the collapse.

The building once housed a first-floor sandwich shop and apartments above. Its collapse sent debris onto a Salvation Army corner thrift store next door. The two properties are adjacent to an adult bookstore and theater that had been taken down earlier.


Associated Press Release
By KATHY MATHESON and KEITH COLLINS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Thirteen people are injured and at least one is still trapped in the rubble after a building collapse on the edge of downtown Philadelphia.

A four-story building being demolished collapsed on Wednesday, raining bricks down on a thrift store where people were shopping inside.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said rescue crews are trying to extricate the one person who remains trapped inside the shop, which was crushed by falling debris. When asked about the person's condition, he declined to comment.

The 13 people who were injured were taken to hospitals. Officials say nearly all had only minor injuries.

The collapse involved a building that once housed a first-floor sandwich shop and apartments above. Much of the debris from the building landed on a Salvation Army thrift store next door.


Associated Press Release

By: KATHY MATHESON and KEITH COLLINS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia's fire commissioner says 12 people have minor injuries after a building collapse on the edge of downtown.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said Wednesday that officials are working to extricate two other people from the rubble.

Mayor Michael Nutter says a four-story property collapsed onto a Salvation Army store.


Associated Press Release

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Emergency crews are at the scene of a building collapse in Philadelphia, and the fire commissioner says as many as eight to 10 people are believed trapped in the rubble.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says search and rescue teams are on the scene working to find those trapped.

There is no word on exactly what caused the building to collapse.

The accident happened at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. A building on the block has been under construction.


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