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Indications A Criminal Investigation Could Soon Be Underway In Deadly Building Collapse

By Todd Quinones

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Following the deadly building collapse in Center City on Wednesday, there are indications that a criminal investigation into the collapse could be opened up.

Also, the city has issued a stop work order on two sites the demolition company is also currently working at.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections indicates violations were found at two sites Griffin Campbell Construction is currently doing work at (See Previous Story).

L&I alleges one location near 13th and Walnut had plumbing and electrical work being done without the proper permits, and a second location at 320 Butler Avenue had work being done that exceeded the scope of the demolition permit.

This comes as the first lawsuit has been filed on behalf Nadine White, an employee at the Salvation Army who was buried beneath the rubble but managed to survive (See Previous Story).

Her attorney argues that an engineering survey by the demolition crew was either not done, or not followed correctly and the free standing wall that once towered over the thrift shop should have been braced.

The suit names Griffin Campbell Construction as well as the property owner.

"OSHA provides under 1928854 that no wall section which is more than one story in height shall be permitted to stand alone without lateral bracing," attorney Robert Mongeluzzi said.

Top prosecutors from the District Attorney's Homicide unit as well as the Crime Scene Unit were out looking at the site on Thursday.

This beam was taken to the police crime lab for analysis.

Police indicate the operator used the beam as an improvised battering ram to knock down the building.

In the meantime L&I indicates unlike plumbing and electrical contractors, demolition crews are not required by the city to their prove proficiency before tearing down a building.

"The code doesn't' require it," L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said.

When contacted on Wednesday an official with Griffin Campbell Construction had no comment, and efforts to reach them on Thursday were unsuccessful.

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