Salvation Army Employee, Firefighter Testify In Market Street Collapse Civil Trial

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Testimony has started in the Market Street collapse civil trial to determine if anyone is financially liable for what happened. Six people died and 13 were hurt.

Former Salvation Army Thrift worker Felicia Hill was the first to testify she was in the thrift store when it collapsed. The mother of seven recalls joking with coworkers the day before about the noise and vibrations from the next door demolition and the sudden collapse on June 5, 2013.

Then battalion chief John O’Neill, who has special ops firefighter training in building collapse and confined space rescue, recalled his urgent call from the fire commissioner to go to the scene even though he was on vacation that day.

He led a team that discovered Mariya Plekan, a shopper buried in the rubble for 13 hours, before O’Neill’s crew pulled her out.

The 54-year-old woman lost both legs and appeared in a motorized wheelchair.

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