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Several feared trapped in Philly building collapse

 A building collapsed in downtown Philadelphia on Wednesday and rescue workers were searching for people trapped in the rubble, a fire department spokesman said.

Local media reported that Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said as many as 10 people were buried in the debris from the four-story building. The local ABC affiliate also said five people had been rescued and taken to area hospitals.

Captain Jeffrey Thompson of the Philadelphia Fire Department confirmed crews were searching for victims and had made some rescues but declined to comment on any numbers.

“We are checking the debris, looking for any victims at this time,” Thompson said.

During the demolition of a building at 22nd and Market Street, at least one structure collapsed and was reduced to a mountain of concrete chunks and splintered wood around 10:45 a.m. EDT. Other buildings also may have been involved.

Rescue workers rushed to the scene to investigate the damage and determine how many people were trapped.

“It’s really difficult to give any details because it’s a fluid situation,” Thompson said.

He said it was not immediately known who occupied the building, located in the heart of Center City in Philadelphia.

Police urged the public to stay away from the area while rescuers dig through the rubble.

Source: Agencies

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