Did Someone Try to Report Building Before it Collapsed? [Updated]

Update [2:38 p.m.] WHYY reports that a 3-1-1 call was indeed made in early May about a building being demolished, but it was not a case of mistaken address, as Philadelinquency suggested. Rather, the man who made the complaint reported unsafe demolition conditions at a different building, 2134 Market, which was at the time being demolished. Demolition of its next-door neighbor, which collapsed yesterday, and was being conducted by the same company, was not yet underway. SO: The city never got a call about the building that collapsed yesterday, and thus, never inspected its demo site.

According to a transcript published by Philadelinquency, it seems someone tried to report unsafe demolition occurring at the site that collapsed yesterday via the city’s 3-1-1 service. Here’s the text of the complaint, in part.

The property 2130 Market Street is currently being demolished in a manner that appears to be clearly unsafe. The workers are not wearing any safety equipment (not even hardhats while working to demolish brick facades with crowbars). The sidewalk is not adequately protected, and there appears to be no adequate plan to prevent the collapse of walls or facing materials onto pedestrians and those exiting the subway.

But when the person who issued the complaint was asked for the legal address of the property, he responded: 2134 Market. The correct address, if he was indeed reporting the collapsed buildings, was in fact 2136-2138 Market. It doesn’t appear the city followed up on his report, and the discrepancy in addresses may account for that. As of this time, the city has not responded to an inquiry about whether this 311 call or any others regarding the demolished property were logged this year.


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  • UE Northeast

    The Philly mainstream press (at least for those of us outside of Philly trying to get information) is completely ignoring the fact that If the job had been union there is NO WAY the work would have proceeded. No building would have collapsed. No people would have died. Period. End of story…and that is the story. If its a union job there’s no way the workers would have kept working because union workers know when the work is unsafe and, most importantly, we refuse unsafe work and we know the union and co-workers will defend us and we aren’t afraid of losing our job. That’s the real kind of protection all of us get from having a union – not some mobbed up fantasy anti-union folks want you to believe. Union jobs save lives.