PHILADELPHIA Penn. (www.nbcphiladelphia.com) -- A building in downtown Philadelphia has collapsed and authorities have rescued eleven people and believe at least two remain trapped beneath the rubble and a frantic search continues to locate them.
“I was parked on the 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 22nd and Market Street happened around 10:30 am and early reports from Philadelphia Police indicate that it may be the results of an industrial accident.
At least one person was killed and 13 others injured when the 4-story building collapsed onto a two story building that housed a Salvation Army thrift store.
"There are firemen, police, construction guys digging out because I believe people are down there. It's crazy right now," said Corey Vey who works nearby.
At least a dozen people have been rescued already, according to eyewitnesses. Eight of them are being treated at local hospitals.
One of the structures located at that property is the Salvation Army Thrift store.
There are dozens of paramedics and fire crews on the scene. Rescue crews are digging through the debris and an excavator is being brought in to help move debris.
Workers have come out of nearby buildings and into the street to watch.
"I've never encountered anything like this before anytime in my life and I don't want to see it again," Vey said. He was driving down 22nd Street right before Market and saw the building come down.
"I feel really lucky, that brick landed in my passenger seat," Vey said. "Lucky for the rainguard on my window that saved me from getting hit."
Market Street is closed from 20th to at least 23rd Street right now.
Fire officials say the building next door to the collapse was under demolition. According to the demolition permit from Philadelphia's Licenses and Inspections, that building was a four-story structure. The demolition contractor on the permit is Plato Marinakos, Jr. of Hamilton Street in Philadelphia.
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