Southeastern PA

Philadelphia wants tighter demolition rules amid collapse deaths

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia City Council members hope to make it tougher to get a demolition permit in the wake of a fatal building collapse.

To get a permit, private building owners currently don't have to file demolition plans, prove their workers are qualified or show their taxes are paid.

Council has held a series of hearings in the wake of a June 5 building collapse, when six people died inside a Salvation Army thrift store because of a demolition accident next door.

Because of a criminal grand jury investigation, legislators did not explore what went wrong at that site.

Councilman James Kenney said demolition contractor Griffin Campbell did not pay workers compensation or unemployment taxes, and did the job on the cheap.

His subcontractor is charged with involuntary manslaughter.


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