Couple pulled from rubble in Philly after 3 buildings collapsed

The collapse happened on the 2200 block of North Front Street in the city's Kensington section.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A couple was hospitalized after they were pulled from the rubble following the collapse of three buildings in Philadelphia Thursday night.

Investigators will return Friday to survey the damage along the 2200 block of North Front Street in the city's Kensington section.

The three buildings collapsed around 10 p.m. Thursday just as Dave Velazquez said he was driving by the property.

"I was calling out to anybody in there in English and Spanish and an older gentleman said, 'I'm here! I'm here! I'm here!' But I still couldn't see him and he said, 'look to the third floor.' When I looked, I saw him and rushed in there," said Dave Velazquez.

Velazquez said he initially thought he heard the sound of trains above on the EL, but quickly realized that wasn't the case.

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At least two people were rushed to the hospital after sustaining injuries in a building collapse in Philadelphia Thursday night.



Fire and police officials rushed to the scene and were able to get to the 68-year-old and 69-year-old victims.

"The old man was kind of banged up on his face and his legs. The old lady, I think she might have broken leg or something, but she's alive and well," Velazquez said.

The three properties were three stories with businesses on the first floor and possibly apartments on the second and third, according to police.

"(The victims) were able to tell the first responders that they were in a second-floor apartment and they were the only ones inside that particular property when that property collapsed. They were also able to tell us they believe that the other two properties that collapsed are vacant," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. "But really, really lucky because police found these two victims who are in their late 60s in the debris."

Authorities said that SEPTA police temporarily shut down the EL to check for damage or debris on the tracks but didn't find any.

Licenses and Inspections officials will be back to conduct a further investigation into why the collapse happened.

They will be checking to determine whether construction or possibly heavy rain had anything to do with the collapse.

Officials will also work to make sure surrounding buildings are structurally sound before anyone else is allowed in.

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