Philadelphia building collapses: Six killed and 13 injured


Six people have been killed in a building collapse in Philadelphia.

Thirteen people were also injured when the four-storey building, midway through a demolition operation, collapsed, raining bricks down on a nearby charity shop.

Initial reports had suggested that only one person had died in yesterday's accident, but as emergency services sifted through the rubble with buckets and bare hands, body bags began emerging from the site throughout the evening.

The city's mayor Michael Nutter said the city's emergency workers had been “diligent, determined, focused” in their rescue efforts.

“If anyone else is in that building, they will find them,” he said.

One woman was pulled from the rubble of the Salvation Army shop two hours after the 10.45am collapse when rescuers heard her voice, city fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers said.

Rescuers had been prepared to dig through the rubble all night because they didn't know how many people were in the shop when the building collapsed on it.

Early reports from local police suggest an industrial accident may have caused the collapse, at 22nd and Market Street, just before 11am local time. A building on the block had been under construction.

Truck driver Bernie Ditomo told NBC: “I was parked on the 21st just heading to Market Street, next thing you know it felt like an earthquake.

"I said, 'What the hell is going on?' My truck is totaled. I am a little dusty and dirty, but I’m alright. I am one of the lucky ones.”