Philadelphia union official calls demo oversight lax

A view of the building collapse in Center City Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 5th.

June 29, 2013 3:26:58 PM PDT
The head of a Philadelphia building trades union says the lack of oversight of demolition projects in Philadelphia should keep people up at night.

Pat Gillespie, business manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, says "no one enforces anything" once a permit is handed out.

Gillespie is testifying as part of a City Council investigation into a recent building that collapsed during demolition, killing six people at an adjacent store.

A demolition subcontractor is now charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Council member James Kenney says the building owner picked the cheapest of five demolition bids, ranging from $130,000 to $500,000.

He says you can't do demolition on the cheap, if it means people aren't trained.

Council member Bobby Henon says anyone with $200 can get a Philadelphia construction permit.