Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators plan no additional citations in June's deadly Center City building collapse beyond the two small contractors they hammered last month with $397,000 in fines, the agency said Thursday.
The nonaction is a positive development for the Salvation Army and several of its employees who were interviewed by OSHA about working conditions before a four-story brick wall fell onto the charity's thrift shop at 22d and Market Streets, killing six, leaving 14 injured, and leveling the store.
"Campbell Construction and S&R Contracting are the only entities that will receive citations for the accident," said U.S. Labor Department spokeswoman Lenore Uddyback-Fortson.
The Salvation Army's store manager and assistant manager both told OSHA that debris from the demolition had been falling on and around their building for several weeks before the June 5 collapse.
While store employees talked with each other about the possibility of a serious accident, they did not formally report their concerns to superiors - in part because they thought the supervisors already were aware of it.
The owner of the building being demolished, STB Investments Corp., had sent e-mails to the Salvation Army warning about demolition hazards. But the charity's executives were unaware that the demolition contractor had brought in heavy equipment to commence basic structural work, said Salvation Army attorney Eric A. Weiss.
"OSHA's decision, while correct, provides little comfort for the losses endured by Salvation Army employees and patrons," Weiss said.
The Salvation Army remains a defendant in civil lawsuits filed by collapse victims and their families.
Robert Mongeluzzi, one of the plaintiff's attorneys, said OSHA's decision not to cite the charity would not impact those cases.
"Its own employees were fearful the building next door would collapse and crash into them. Despite that, they kept their store open and misrepresented to customers that it was safe," Mongeluzzi said.
Meanwhile, demolition contractor Griffin Campbell on Wednesday denied OSHA's contentions that he violated safety rules in the Market Street collapse, appealing $313,000 in fines.
A legal filing by Campbell's attorney, William Hobson, said any blame should be placed on Plato Marinakos, the architect who hired Campbell and acquired the permits for the demolition.
Marinakos was granted immunity from criminal prosecution for his testimony to a grand jury that indicted Campbell last month on six counts of third-degree murder.