There Was a Partial Collapse at Fifth and Race This Morning

Demolition knocked debris and a tree onto a school bus, but there were no injuries reported.

Demolition on a building in the 400 block of Race Street produced a chain reaction that knocked a tree and a light pole onto a school bus.

Police said the incident happened shortly after 9 a.m. The demolition knocked over the tree and the light pole, which in turn both fell on the passing bus. There were no children aboard and the driver was uninjured, police said.

Phones were busy at the city’s Licenses & Inspections department, which oversees demolition. The department’s role in such matters has been heavily scrutinized since the 2013 incident in which a building demolition inadvertently caused the collapse of a neighboring Center City Salvation Army store, killing six people and injuring 13.

Andrew Duffy, an attorney with the firm — Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett, & Bendesky — that filed suit on behalf of the Salvation Army collapse victims, went to the scene of today’s incident shortly after it occurred. He said the city’s demolition standards have improved significantly since the earlier incident.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to see if those standards and practices were properly followed,” he said, later adding: “Just in looking, I could not make that determination.”

This is a developing story.

Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.