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First lawsuit filed over Philadelphia building collapse

Inspectors are now investigating whether unsafe demolition practices caused the accident

Well, that was fast. One day after a Philadelphia building collapse that killed six and trapped another 14 people alive, a survivor has filed the first lawsuit over the accident.

Nadine White, who was reportedly buried under debris when the four-story building collapsed, is seeking more than $50,000 in damages from the building’s owner, STB Investments Corp., and the contractor responsible for its demolition, Nicetown House Development Corp.

The structure was in the process of being demolished when it collapsed on Wednesday, sending rubble crashing into an adjacent two-story building that housed a Salvation Army store. Several of the dead were shoppers or workers in that thrift shop, including Anne Bryan, the daughter of Philadelphia Treasurer Nancy Winkler.

Scrutiny has now turned to the demolition contractor—which operates as Griffin Campbell Construction—and its failure to evacuate nearby buildings during a sensitive phase of demolition. "This is the most egregious construction accident I think I've ever been involved in," White’s attorney, Robert Mongeluzzi, told the Associated Press. The AP also reports that city inspectors have found violations at two other construction and demolition sites that Campbell worked on.

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Alanna Byrne

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