| PHILADELPHIA, June 7
PHILADELPHIA, June 7 Rubble strewn around the
site of a deadly building collapse this week cannot be removed
for two days while attorneys for survivors collect evidence for
their lawsuits, a Philadelphia judge ruled on Friday.
As survivors of the collapse recovered in the hospital and
at home, attorneys began filing lawsuits against the owner of a
building under demolition that collapsed onto a Salvation Army
Thrift Store in downtown Philadelphia on Wednesday. The
demolition company is also named in the lawsuits over the
collapse, in which six people died and 14 were injured.
Among those suing is Nadine White, 54, a mother of three and
a clerk working at the thrift store when chunks of concrete came
raining down on her, burying her in the rubble, her lawyer
Robert Mongeluzzi said in court papers.
"Mrs. White was trapped in a nightmare when the collapse
occurred," Mongeluzzi said in a statement.
A second lawsuit was filed by Linda Bell, 50, also a mother
of three, who was shopping in the store when the collapse
occurred. She was buried under the rubble for about an hour
before being rescued, her lawyer Joseph Marrone said.
The collapse occurred when the store was filled with
shoppers and staff. White and Bell were among 13 survivors who
suffered minor injuries and were rescued by firefighter crews
looking for survivors.
A 14th survivor, Myra Plekan, 61, remained in critical
condition, according to a spokesman for the Hospital of the
University of Pennsylvania.
On Friday, Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler granted
requests by lawyers for White and Bell for access to the site to
inspect and photograph it and ordered that once the site is
deemed safe, all remaining debris be left in place for
approximately two days. She also ordered that the lawyers be
told where debris already removed has been taken.
In addition, the judge ordered the building owners, Richard
Basciano, and the STB Investments Corp., and the demolition
company, Griffin T. Campbell, to preserve documents about the
Reuters' efforts to reach Basciano, STB Investments Corp.,
nor Griffin T. Campbell for comment were not immediately
Authorities said the building that was being demolished had
housed an X-rated book and video store.
(Additional reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Barbara
Goldberg and David Gregorio)