PHILADELPHIA — Family members of those killed in a Philadelphia building collapse a year ago and an emotional Mayor Michael Nutter gathered at the scene of the disaster on Thursday to mark its anniversary and dedicate a park in the memory of the dead.
Some 200 people gathered under a gloomy sky at the site of a former Salvation Army thrift store where six people were killed and 14 injured when a neighboring building being demolished collapsed onto the shop, burying victims inside under rubble.
“This is one of the worst tragedies our city has experienced in modern times,” Nutter said, standing near the collapse site where a lone birch tree has been planted in the first step of the memorial park.
“The first thing I am going to ask is for your collective prayers for all of us,” Nutter said.
Maggie Davis, 75, of Philadelphia, the widow of Borbor Davis, 68, who died in the collapse, offered a personal remembrance.
“I love my husband dearly,” she said. “The way we parted was not the right way.”
The collapse remains the subject of a grand jury probe and there have been 16 civil lawsuits filed.
The grand jury has already charged two men with murder, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the case. They are: Griffin Campbell, 50, the contractor overseeing the demolition of the building next to the Salvation Army; and Sean Benshop, 43, who was operating an excavator at the time.