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Building collapse in Philadelphia kills one

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
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Building collapse in Philadelphia kills one
A view of the collapsed building. (Les Carpenter on Twitter)

Update (2:45 p.m.)

One person has been killed in the Philadelphia building collapse, NBC reports. Thirteen others were injured, all removed from the rubble and taken to hospitals.

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Original story follows:

Rescuers have pulled at 12 people from under the rubble of a collapsed building in downtown Philadelphia, and at least two people remained trapped Wednesday afternoon.

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A four-story building that was in the process of being demolished fell onto a single-story building that included a Salvation Army Thrift store.

Shortly after noon, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers told local media 12 people had been taken to hospitals with "class three" minor injuries, and two others will still believed to be inside the debris.

Some reports indicated that one of the remaining trapped people -- a woman -- had been freed by 12:35 p.m.

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The noise of the collapse was "like a freight train," one witness, Mark Newell, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "You could hear the moaning" of the people trapped inside.

“We have located people inside. They have talked to one of the persons inside," Ayers said at a 12:35 p.m. conference. “We are going to do what we can to get them out.”

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A Philadelphia-based firm, Griffin-Campbell Construction, had active permits for working on the building, Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Carlton Williams said.

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Mayor Michael Nutter emphasized the ongoing nature of the situation.

I want to keep focused on the fact our firefighters are actively engaged in a search-and-rescue operation,” he Nutter said. “This is delicate, dangerous work.”

Emergency officials first received a call about the collapse around 10:45 a.m. A spokeswoman described the incident as "an industrial accident" and said there had been no explosion.

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