Ceremony Held For 1 Year Anniversary Of Deadly Center City Build - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Ceremony Held For 1 Year Anniversary Of Deadly Center City Building Collapse

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PHILADELPHIA -

Today, we remember a dark day in Philadelphia history: June 5th, 2013, exactly one year ago, an accident that led to an unspeakable tragedy.

An improper demolition sent a wall crashing down onto a Salvation Army Thrift Shop at 22nd and Market in Center City, which killed six people and injured 14.

A memorial service was held on Thursday morning to honor the victims of the collapse.

Fox 29’s Bruce Gordon reports.

What became known as the "Market Street Collapse" has in the months that followed prompted criminal charges, numerous civil lawsuits, and promises by the city to keep a closer eye on demolition projects.

However, on this anniversary of the tragedy it was all about the victims and their families.

"Today, one year later, we are still grief-stricken,"

The wounds are still fresh, on the tiny parcel of land where a Salvation Army Thrift Store once sat.

A store crushed by a falling wall in a botched demolition job next door.

The rubble from that collapse has long since been cleared away, but the memories remain.

And so does the pain.

Maggie Davis lost her husband Borbor, an employee at the thrift store.

"He came to work very healthy, and they took him from me. It was not. It was not his time. I just feel it was not his time, but it was his time on God's side," said Davis.

The emotions include anger and frustration at the red flags missed in the days before the accident.

Nancy Winkler's young daughter Anne was crushed in the collapse.

"There were people that did not do their jobs or (who) justified development as an imperative that allowed them to cut corners or look the other way," the Winkler.

The City of Philadelphia has been blistered by criticism that it did not do enough to monitor demolitions like the one at 22nd and Market.

A visibly shaken Mayor Nutter did not address those criticisms directly, but suggested the city had failed those half-dozen victims.

"I do want to personally and very publically apologize to each and every one of you for what happened here that day," said Mayor Nutter.

The apologies were accepted by family members, but they do little to ease the suffering.

Roseline Conteh was a Sierra Leonean immigrant who bought clothes at the thrift store to send to her home country.

She died while making those purchases.

The Salvation Army donated the parcel of land to the city. Plans for a park and memorial are moving forward.

Victims' families ceremonially planted a tree at the location this morning, which is meant to be a symbol of life, amid so much death.

  • Bruce Gordon ReportsMore>>

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