At least one person has died in Wednesday’s building collapse in Philadelphia. Sources close to the investigation confirmed the woman’s death, but did not identify her.
Meanwhile, firefighters continue to carefully sift through the rubble at 22nd and Market streets in search of survivors. As of Wednesday afternoon, fourteen people had been rescued. Thirteen of the victims are hospitalized with injuries.
According to reports, the collapse involved a 4 story building in the process of being torn down and a Salvation Army store next door. Witness Jordan McLaughlin told CNN affiliate KYW that the building under demolition “collapsed the wrong way” and fell on the Salvation Army store.
“When the building collapsed ... there (were) people standing on the corner that (were) right next to the thrift shop. The building ... had really big aftershock on the ground. You felt it shake. There (were) people that actually fell over. People started screaming. They ran across the street,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin and other witnesses immediately began pulling people out of the rubble.
Mayor Michael Nutter told reports authorities do not know how many people were in the store at the time of the collapse. "Keep in mind we did not know, and we do not know, how many people were actually in the thrift store this morning when the wall collapsed this morning," he said when talking about the ongoing effort to find survivors.
The Salvation Army is assisting authorities in the accident. "At this time, we are gathering information about the details of the building collapse at 22nd and Market Street in Philadelphia today. Our No. 1 concern is for the safety of our customers and the employees who were involved," the leader of the Salvation Army’s Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Division told Natalie Apsell of CNN. "We are coordinating with the police and fire Department, the Office of Emergency Management and local authorities. Also, we have sent our own disaster response team to the site to serve survivors and first responders. We ask for the public to pray for those involved."
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