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City records show violations and failures contributed to Philadelphia building collapse

Lawyers representing some of the victims killed and injured by the June 5 building collapse in Philadelphia are calling for a “full and open disclosure of the events” that led to the disaster, alleging that the owners of the buildings and city officials “were on notice of a tragedy waiting to happen [but] did not stop it from occurring.” Those strong allegations are rooted in a series of paperwork, emails, and other information released by the city following a Philadelphia Inquirer report that contractors removing debris from the collapsed buildings earlier this month found asbestos among the ruins. That discovery ... Read More

Another Philadelphia building collapse triggers evacuations

PHILADELPHIA – Just days after a downtown Philadelphia building collapsed, killing 6 people and injuring a dozen others, another building collapse blocks away has led to the evacuation of several surrounding buildings. According to authorities at the scene, an excavation site at Eighth and South Streets was deluged with rainwater all day, causing the ground underneath an adjoining building to become unstable and give way Monday night around 8. No one was reportedly injured by the cave-in. Officials investigating the collapse said that that excavation was taking place too close to a retaining wall, which the heavy rain had eroded. ... Read More

Deadly Philadelphia building collapse prompts regulatory review, lawsuits

The collapse of a four-story building and adjacent thrift store in Philadelphia that killed six people and injured 13 others on Friday, June 5, has ignited a grand jury investigation of city regulations and protocols across a number of municipal agencies and departments, the Associated Press reported Monday. “The scope and depth of the Grand Jury process will allow us to completely and appropriately investigate last Wednesday’s tragedy,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams in a statement. In the same release, Mr. Williams expressed his “heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Anne Bryan, Roseline Conteh, Borbor Davis, Kimberly ... Read More

One dead, thirteen injured after Philadelphia buildings collapse

PHILADELPHIA, PENN — Firefighters and other rescue workers were plying through mounds of rubble after two buildings in central Philadelphia collapsed Wednesday morning, trapping several people under concrete, bricks, and other debris. Investigators are considering several possible causes, but are focusing on the role a demolition project on one of the buildings may have played in the incident. Multiple news sources reported one death as a result of the collapse, but details were not immediately known. Thirteen people found in the rubble were taken to local hospitals to be treated for injuries, CBS Philadelphia reported. Of those injuries, none are ... Read More

Rescuers pull out two workers buried by trench cave-in

HOPE HULL, ALA–Two excavation workers were trapped several feet underground when the walls of a trench they were constructing caved in Wednesday afternoon. Heavy Rescue 75 personnel (Lieutenant Donald Pickens, Sergeant Tommy Burton, Firefighter Eric S. Williams and Firefighter Gregory Lowery), Engine Company 3(Lieutenant Herman Dudley, Sergeant Johnathan M. Brown, Firefighter Michael White, and Firefighter Devon Jones), and Truck Company 45 (Lieutenant Adrian Thrasher, Sergeant Robert Hill and Firefighter Joshua Clemons) rescued two trapped workers from a cave in. Assistant Fire Chief Kelly Gordon Senior was the Incident Commander of the operation. Source: Montgomery Fire/Rescue”] According to WSFA News, the ... Read More

Construction crane in deadly New York City collapse was due for inspection

A crane that malfunctioned in a New York City construction pit Tuesday night, killing one worker and injuring two others, was due to be inspected on Thursday, April 5, just two days after the fatal collapse. According to the New York Times, the 34-year-old crane, owned and operated by Yonkers Contracting, was supposed to have been inspected in January, but that inspection was never completed. The last full inspection of the crane was completed in July 2011. The crane had been excavating for a New York City subway extension project at West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues at ... Read More

Final settlements reached in WV mine explosion, criminal charges likely to follow

Alpha Natural Resources, the new owner of West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch Mine, has settled with the remaining families of the miners who were killed in an April 2010 explosion, believed to be the worst mining disaster in 40 years. The 13 families who hadn’t reached an agreement with Alpha or the mine’s previous owner, Massey Energy, accepted settlement offers after more than four days of talks with a mediator, according to the Charleston Gazette. The 16 other families either settled with Massey before the Alpha buyout or reached agreements with the new owner. Details of the latest settlements, including ... Read More

Coal company sued for miners’ deaths

The widows of two men trapped and killed in a Kentucky coal mine collapse last year are suing the operator of the mine, alleging the company placed profits over people at its massive Dotiki mine in western Kentucky. According to the Associated Press, Sandy Travis of Dixon, Ken., and Melissa Carter of Hanson, Ken., filed the lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Kentucky, seeking an undisclosed amount of compensatory damages against Webster County Coal, a subsidiary company of Oklahoma-based Alliance Resource partners. Ms. Travis also asks for $5 million in punitive damages, and Ms. Carter, who is also suing ... Read More

Gatlinburg begins sewage spill cleanup

Gatlinburg, Tennessee – City officials announced Thursday that sewage from the collapsed holding container is no longer flowing into the Little Pigeon River. After the holding container’s wall collapsed on Tuesday morning, killing 2 workers, all sewage pumped in from Gatlinburg flowed directly into the river’s West Prong, a vital waterway in Sevier County and the Smoky Mountains National Park. City officials assured the public that Gatlinburg’s drinking water is safe, but continue to warn people to stay away from the river and avoid contact with its water. The collapsed holding tank, which stored sewage until it could be pumped ... Read More

OSHA cites Montgomery company for trench cave-in hazards

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A regional office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Montgomery, Alabama, construction firm with penalties for exposing its workers to serious cave-in hazards while laying water pipe in a trench on Perry Hill Road in Montgomery. According to OSHA, inspectors cited the company , Dubose Construction Co., LLC, $46,200 for one willful safety violation for allowing its workers to work in an unprotected trench that was more than 7 feet deep. “The lack of cave-in protection at this worksite leaves Dubose Construction employees at risk of injury or death,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s ... Read More