Watch CBS News

Building collapses in Monessen during storm

Building collapses in Monessen during storm
Building collapses in Monessen during storm 02:20

MONESSEN, Pa. (KDKA) - A man who narrowly escaped a building collapse in Monessen said he heard a rumble of thunder then bricks started falling.

The pile of rubble in the alley and mounds of debris seen in what used to be windows give you an idea of the level of structural failure that occurred when parts of the old Mon Valley Independent lost their battle against gravity and time.

The man didn't want to show his face but said he had an up close and personal look at the collapse as he walked through the alley behind the building.

"I was just walking through the ally and it just started coming down," he said. 

Monessen police and fire were at the scene almost immediately. The collapse closed alleys in the area. Monessen Police Chief David Yuhasz said given the state of many buildings in Monessen, this isn't surprising and it's lucky to have happened when it did.

"Students use the alley where the bricks fell," Yuhasz said. "It was fortunate it happened at this time."

Monessen is working with the county's landbank to see if at least some of the derelict buildings in the town can be demolished before something like this happens again.

"The years of neglect of these buildings is taking a toll now," said Yuhasz.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.