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UPDATE Watch live: At least 1 dead, 13 hurt in building collapse at Philadelphia thrift store. Search continues.

View more videos at: http://nbcphiladelphia.com.

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WCAU-TV:

A building in downtown Philadelphia has collapsed, crushing a nearby structure and killing one person. Authorities have rescued 13 people and are digging to see if anyone else remains trapped beneath the rubble.

“I was parked on 21st just heading to Market Street, next thing you know it felt like an earthquake,” said Bernie Ditomo, a truck driver with Belfi Brothers. “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.”

The collapse at 2140 Market Street happened around 10:40 a.m. when a four-story building came down on top of a two-story building, which housed a Salvation Army Thrift Store. Early reports from Philadelphia Police indicate that the collapse may have been the result of an industrial accident, as construction crews were working on the nearby structure.

“This is a delicate and dangerous operation,” Mayor Michael Nutter said of the rescue and recovery effort during a press conference from the scene. “We did not know and do not know how many people were actually in that store when the wall collapsed.”

After the initial rescues, crews were communicating with two people who remained trapped in the debris and were working to remove them. At one point, rescuers asked media outlets to pull back their helicopters to allow them to better detect sounds from beneath the rubble.

View more videos at: http://nbcphiladelphia.com.

Frank Kummer & Emily Baby, PhillyNews.com:

Two buildings collapsed in a busy commercial strip of Center City Philadelphia this morning leaving at least 13 people injured and two reported killed.

What appeared to be a body bag was pulled from the destroyed Salvation Army store at 22nd and Market streets and a priest was at the scene shortly before 2 p.m.. An Inquirer reporter at the scene said a law enforcement source has confirmed two dead, but officials have not confirmed either fatality.

Officials at a 2:30 p.m. press conference said a search-and-rescue operation will remain active for at least the next 12 to 24 hours and the exact number of people who were inside the thift store when it was destroyed remains unknown. As of 4 p.m., officials gave no update on whether anyone remained trapped. Cadaver dogs were at the scene in the afternoon to aid in the search.

Comments - Add Yours

  • rmhinkle

    Did anyone else notice what looks like skate board wheels attached to the foot end of that ferno? haha Pretty creative, maybe a RIT litter they use?