Philly Council begins investigation into fatal building collapse

A review of the fatal building collapse at 22nd and Market streets begins Wednesday morning with a hearing before a Philadelphia City Council panel. 

Council President Darrell Clarke says the committee’s primary goal is to determine the role of city government in the fatal collapse and how to prevent it from ever happening again.

“Every day there is a potential collapse in place when there’s demolition — and not necessarily relating to demolition,” he said. “This group … has been tasked in a very aggressive way to come up with solutions both legislatively and regulatory and practices to put us in a position where this never happens again.”

The panel plans a complete review of the incident, said Councilman Curtis Jones who is chairing the committee.

“If it’s a question of getting the right laws on the books, we’ll do that,” he said. “If it’s a question of getting the right budget into a department, we’ll look at that as well. People have different expectations of public safety, and they expect to be able to walk into a building shop and not have a building fall on them.”

The committee is beginning its work two weeks to the day since the wall of a building undergoing demolition collapsed onto an adjacent thrift store. Six people were killed and 13 others were injured.

The series of five hearings will continue through mid-August.

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