Rescuers are scrambling to pry people from the rubble of a multistory building that collapsed in downtown Philadelphia on Wednesday. As of 1 p.m. EST, 12 people had been transferred to hospitals.

The building was being demolished at the time of the collapse. A Salvation Army thrift store that adjoined the site was also destroyed when debris landed on it. Philadelphia fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers said those sent to the hospital had sustained “minor injuries” and were in “stable condition.” It is unknown how many people remain in the wreckage.

“We have located people inside,” Ayers said. “They have talked to people inside. We’re going to continue until we can get them out and get them to hospitals.

“The biggest challenge is getting the tons of rubble that are on top of these folks, to get them extricated.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The building collapse happened in the downtown Philadelphia, at 22nd and Market streets. Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter subsequently said that officials did not know for sure whether anyone remained trapped at the site.

By midday more than 100 emergency personnel continued rescue work at the site. Surrounding blocks were closed off during the rescue work.

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