Southeastern PA

Philadelphia City Council holds hearing on deadly building collapse

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia City Council is holding its first public hearing in the building collapse that killed six people and injured 13 others earlier this month.

A heavy equipment operator with a lengthy rap sheet was high on marijuana when a building under demolition collapsed onto a neighboring thrift store in the city's downtown on June 5, investigators said. The city's top prosecutor has convened a grand jury to investigate whether anyone else should face criminal charges.

City Council is holding a hearing Wednesday on inspections and licensing issues related to the collapse.

A Philadelphia deputy mayor told council that the city isn't responsible for demolition work done at a private site once a permit is issued. Several survivors have sued the city over the collapse.

The site was inspected before work began on Feb. 12 and again on Feb. 25, after it got underway, according to records. An inspector returned to the site May 14 after a citizen complained, but he found the complaint unfounded.

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