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New information confirms asbestos at building collapse site

| Jul 14, 2013 | Premises Liability |

Just last week, we wrote a post about the fatal and tragic building collapse in Philadelphia; and we wondered, just like many other North Carolina residents, if the building had asbestos inside. If so, the first responders to the tragedy would have been exposed as they lacked the necessary equipment to prevent them from breathing in the harmful material.

But that post also started off with an all too true idea: When asbestos was discovered to be harmful many decades ago, many building owners and employers decided to stay silent instead of warning their tenants, patrons or employees. They figured it was better to pinch their pennies than to be concerned with the health of their fellow man.

Now comes word that, yes, there wasbestos in the building that collapsed in Philadelphia. In addition, the company that was in charge of the demolition that was supposed to take place prior to the collapse was also dealing with two buildings adjacent to the collapsed one — and in official documentation, they reported no asbestos in those buildings.

Another interesting factor has developed regarding this collapse. It has been discovered that, prior to the collapse, multiple demolition firms quoted “asbestos removal” as part of their plan for the building. These bids were ignored, and the construction firm dealing with the building valued the job at less than half of those other bids — making it seem like asbestos removal was not in their plans.

This has wide-reaching effects. The first responders were certainly exposed to asbestos; and thousands of people in the surrounding area of the collapse could have also inhaled asbestos. Who knows how far the contamination spread in Philadelphia.

Source: Philly.com, “Asbestos found at site of June 5 collapse,” Bob Warner, July 11, 2013

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