NBC10 - Harry Hairston
New details have emerged after city documents were finally released after NBC10 filed several "right to know" requests. NBC10's Harry Hairston reports that documents show there were health hazards before the collapse that the city knew about and even after the collapse as well.
In response to requests from NBC10 and other Philadelphia media, Mayor Michael Nutter today released more than 30 documents related to the deadly Center City building collapse that occurred on June 5 at 22nd and Market Streets, killing six people and injuring 13.
The documents show a Philadelphia demolition contractor racked up several violations at the site where a wall collapsed onto an adjacent store, killing six people.
Demolition subcontractor Sean Benschop is charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly operating heavy equipment while impaired.
The documents show that contractor Griffin Campbell had been cited for starting interior demolition before informing the city, and for having asbestos-laden material in a dumpster.
Campbell allegedly told the inspector someone had discarded the material into his truck.
The records show that asbestos has since been found at the site, despite a pre-demolition pledge the buildings were asbestos free.
Campbell's lawyer did not immediately return a message Friday.
The documents, which include permits, violation notices, service requests, and other files from the Department of Licenses & Inspections and the Department of Health, as well as emails to and from City officials, are now available on the City's web site and were released in accordance with Pennsylvania's Right to Know Law.
In a press release, City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith said, "The collapse of the building at 22nd and Market was the kind of tragedy that should never recur. Given its magnitude, we of course recognize the public interest in documents pertaining to the events leading up to the collapse, but our responsibility to the citizens always requires that we balance the demand for information with the need to protect the integrity of critical investigations."