Southeastern PA

Myra Plekam, 61, pulled from rubble 13 hours after Philadelphia building's collapse

Victim in critical condition, officials say; 6 other people died in collapse

Woman pulled alive from rubble 13 hrs later

PHILADELPHIA - Some rescuers at a collapsed building in Philadelphia got a welcome sight late Wednesday -- a survivor!

Myra Plekam was pulled from the debris more than 13 hours after the Salvation Army building collapsed at 22nd and Market streets, police said.

The 61-year-old woman was awake and talking to rescuers, hospital officials said.

"It feels outstanding to be able to pull somebody alive," said Michael Resnick, the city's director of public safety.

Plekam was the last person to be accounted for at the scene, although the search is continuing. She's the 14th survivor, but six people were killed.

A building that was in the process of being demolished collapsed onto the thrift store below.

It's unclear what role the demolition work might have played in the collapse, but the accident has raised questions about how closely the highly visible spot on Market Street was being monitored.

Crews said everyone they know they are looking for has now been accounted for, but they aren't sure if there could be others.

"Our forces have been diligent. They are determined. They are focused. As I said earlier, they are some of the best in the country and if anyone else is in the building, they will find them," said Nutter.

According to officials, there were no existing violations on the property that was being demolished and the contractor doing the work was licensed.

A full investigation will now be done by multiple agencies including OHSA and police.

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