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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two people are recovering after a building collapsed on them as they worked on a construction site in North Philadelphia on Friday morning. Firefighters responded to Ridge and Girard Avenues just after 11:30 a.m.
Two men were excavating below street level when the building next to it collapsed. They were trapped and pinned by the falling debris. Then the dangerous rescue began.
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to free them. Both were conscious when rescued and transported to a local hospital. There is no word on their condition.
The area was evacuated.
Witnesses recalled seeing an orange smoke after the collapse.
“I was standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus, and then we saw a big orange smoke, like a gust of smoke, and then we just hear a big old boom,” said Inez McMillan.
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel says he’s happy no one else was injured, including the firefighters who went to rescue the workers.
“This is particularly dangerous work. It’s difficult to address the stability in the absence of tools,” said Thiel. “It looks like this will have a positive outcome.”
L&I went to the scene to make sure adjacent buildings are safe.
There’s no word on what caused the collapse.