Southeastern PA

Woman who lost legs in collapse of building in Philadelphia sues Salvation Army, others

PHILADELPHIA - A woman who survived nearly 13 hours in the rubble of a collapsed building in Philadelphia but lost both of her legs has sued the Salvation Army, whose store she was in at the time, demolition contractors and others.

An adjacent building being demolished collapsed on the thrift store in June, killing six and injuring 13 others. A demolition subcontractor is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Lawsuits over the collapse are on hold amid a criminal investigation, but a lawyer for the woman, Mariya Plekan, wants to preserve her testimony because of the gravity of her injuries and the delay expected before trial.

Lawyer Andrew Stern said Plekan, 52, also suffered organ damage and remains hospitalized, but he said her mind is sound.

A spokeswoman said the Alexandria, Va.,-based Salvation Army has no immediate comment.

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