By Brad Segall
ABINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County, Pa. forensic engineering firm is using high-tech equipment to digitally preserve the site of last week’s building collapse at 22nd and Market Streets in center city as lawyers representing people injured in the collapse continue to hunt for evidence.
DJS Associates of Abington used a laser scanner that collects data at the scene, dumps that information into a laptop computer, and then creates a full three-dimensional digital rendering of the scene.
Attorneys are hoping to use that information to reconstruct the collapse by comparing it to how the building looked before and during demolition.
“For that very high degree of accuracy, sometimes you go back and reconstruct where objects were, where the placement of a building was, where the placement of a vehicle was at its point of rest before it was moved, things of that nature,” explains DJS president Steven Schorr.
Schorr says the laser scanner documents whatever it sees accurately to within about a third of an inch. It doesn’t do analysis. In this case, he says, that would be left up to a structural engineer.
At least six lawsuits have been filed so far against the demolition company, the heavy equipment operator, and the owner of the building that fell unexpectedly onto a Salvation Army thrift store while being torn down (see related story).