Man dead after fall from fire escape

A woman is in critical condition
August 30, 2009 8:43:22 PM PDT
A young man has been killed and a woman is critically injured after the railing on a Center City fire escape collapsed.The accident happened Saturday night at a 4th floor apartment above Monk's Café on 16th Street in the city's Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.

Investigators say the two victims were on a fourth floor fire escape when it happened. It's part of what is known as a Philadelphia tower-style fire escape. L&I say the railing was rusted through and just gave way.

A 25-year-old man was killed instantly when he fell to the concrete below. A 30-year-old woman he was with landed on top of him and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Police are still trying to identify the woman.

One of the building's owners had no comment. He and a helper were later seen putting up a temporary wooden barricade where the railing once stood.

L&I says the building already had outstanding fire code violations. They now say the fire escape is unsafe and there are other structural issues.

The building will now be vacated - closing Monk's Café and putting 13 residents out on the street. A team from the city's Office of Emergency Management was at the scene to help those residents relocate.

The residents won't have any answers on when they can return until the building is reassessed on Friday.

And even then, there's no guarantee it'll be reopened.


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