A four-story structure undergoing demolition collapsed onto a thrift store in Center City this morning.

Two buildings in Center City Philadelphia have collapsed -- one four stories and the other one story -- and authorities believe there may still be people trapped beneath the rubble.

According to NBC Philadelphia, a dozen people have already been rescued from the site on 22nd and Market Streets, with at least two people taken away on stretchers. Firefighters and emergency personnel are currently searching for survivors.

NBC is reporting that an adjacent building was slated for demolition, and the collapse may have been the result of an accident related to that project, though authorities have not yet confirmed the direct cause. This post will be updated.

Update, 2:09 p.m.: Rescuers are still working to free at least one person trapped under the rubble. The Fire Commissioner told reporters that his team had located the victim and assured reporters "we're going to continue until we can get them out and we can get them to hospitals."

According to Fox News, rescue crews are running a low-tech operation. They report:

Firefighters were conducting a "hands-only" operation, with no heavy equipment for about the first hour. It was firefighters with buckets moving bricks. A team of four search dogs are also deployed at the scene.

There are more than 35 pieces of firefighting equipment and 125 rescue personnel at the scene. And elderly woman was reportedly freed from the wreckage around 12:35 p.m.

Update, 12:23 p.m.: This photo, reportedly taken just before the collapse, shows the four-story structure in the process of demolition before it collapsed onto the neighboring thrift shop:

You can watch NBC Philadelphia's live coverage feed below.

Here's what it looked like before:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  2. A photo of shoppers on University Avenue in East Palo Alto, California, which is flanked by two technology campuses.
    Equity

    An Island of Silicon Valley Affordability Says Yes to More Housing

    East Palo Alto is surrounded by tech riches, but that hasn’t necessarily helped longtime residents, who welcome a state law mandating zoning reform

  3. A crowded room of residents attend a local public forum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
    Life

    Are Local Politics As Polarized As National? Depends on the Issue.

    Republican or Democrat, even if we battle over national concerns, research finds that in local politics, it seems we can all just get along—most of the time.

  4. Life

    How to Inspire Girls to Become Carpenters and Electricians

    Male-dominated trades like construction, plumbing, and welding can offer job security and decent pay. A camp aims to show girls these careers are for them, too.

  5. A group of students talk as one tests a pedal-free bicycle they have built.
    Environment

    How an Ancestor of the Bicycle Relates to Climate Resilience

    Architecture students in Buffalo built their own versions of the "laufmaschine," a proto-bike invented in response to a 19th-century environmental crisis.