Salvation Army Says It Wasn’t At Fault In Deadly Building Collapse
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By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Salvation Army is disputing the position of an attorney representing victims of last June’s deadly building collapse in center city Philadelphia.
Attorney Bob Mongeluzzi announced yesterday that he is adding the charity to the list of defendants being sued in connection with the June 5th collapse of a building being demolished onto a Salvation Army thrift store (see previous story).
That collapse killed six people in the store, at 22nd and Market Streets.
Yesterday, Mongeluzzi said that after reading e-mails between the Salvation Army and STB Investments, the owner of the building being demolished, he felt the charity shares the blame in the deaths and injuries which resulted.
But Salvation Army major Charles Deitrick says the fault lies squarely with STB.
“Unbeknown to the Salvation Army, on the Sunday before the collapse, or June 2nd, STB had moved an excavator onto the site and, for the first time, proceeded to perform structural demolition in a manner completely contrary to the May 15th and May 29th letters,” Deitrick tells KYW Newsradio.
Maj. Deitrick says the tragedy was thrust upon its employees and the people it serves because promises were broken and unacceptable demolition methods were employed.