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Death Toll In Philadelphia Building Collapse Rises to 6

Firefighters and rescue workers at the site of Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia.
Clem Murray
MCT /Landov
Firefighters and rescue workers at the site of Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia.

(Most recent update: 12:05 a.m. ET Thursday)

Firefighters have pulled a 14th survivor from the rubble of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Philadelphia, and from an adjacent store that was heavily damaged. According to The Associated Press, rescuers found a woman late Wednesday and she was taken to a nearby hospital. Deputy Fire Chief Robert Coyne said early Thursday that 61-year-old Myra Plekam was pulled from the debris more than 12 hours after a building collapsed and that she was awake and talking to rescuers.

Earlier, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter had told reporters that at least six people were dead and 13 injured.

At a late Wednesday news conference, Nutter said the dead included one man and five women; he added that authorities didn't know how many people had been in the Salvation Army store or on the sidewalk when the building next door collapsed. The thrift store was badly damaged in the collapse.

"If anyone else is in that building, they will find them," Nutter said.

According to WHYY, "the collapse involved a Salvation Army corner thrift store and a four-story building next door with a sandwich shop on the first floor." was reporting that a witness "said the sound of the crumbling structures coming down about 10:30 a.m. sounded like a 'freight train.' " The newssite added that:

"A police spokeswoman said there was no explosion and described it as 'an industrial accident' at this point. 'You would have seen a lot of dust in the air if it had been,' she said of an explosion. A fire department official confirmed that no initial explosion appeared to take place and noted construction workers were in the middle of a demolition at one of the buildings."

As happens when stories such as this are breaking, there will be conflicting information. We'll focus on reports from news outlets who are at the scene and on what authorities have to say. Watch for updates.

Other news outlets following the story include:

-- NBC 10 Philadelphia.

-- Philadelphia's WPVI-TV.

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET. Trying To Reach Two People:

"Rescuers are trying to reach at least two people believed trapped in a building collapse at 22nd and Market streets," WHYY reports. "Officials said 12 people have already been taken to hospitals with minor injuries."

The station has a Storify collection running here.

Update at 12:43 p.m. ET. 12 Hurt:

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said in a televised news conference that 12 people have been recovered from the collapsed building. They sustained minor injuries.

At least two people may still be trapped. Ayers said one of the buildings affected was a working thrift store and there's no way to know how many people were inside the store at the time of the collapse.

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET. Live Coverage:

WPVI is streaming its broadcast here.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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