TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A woman killed in a New Jersey house collapse shielded her youngest daughter as the structure came down, authorities said.
The home tumbled into rubble on South Broad Street in Hamilton Township, near Trenton, just before 7 a.m. Monday.
The 16-year-old girl and her 20-year-old sister survived the collapse. They remain hospitalized in serious but stable condition, and further details on their injuries haven’t been disclosed.
It’s not clear what caused the collapse that killed the 38-year-old woman, whose body was found on top of her teen daughter. Emergency responders helped rescue the older daughter shortly after they arrived, and they also heard screams coming from the center of the home, which officials said was a rental.
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The 20-year-old said she heard a cracking noise and was running out of the home when it collapsed, police said.
The names of the victims have not been released. Authorities believe the three were the only people in the home at the time. Dogs were brought in to assist rescuers who searched through the wreckage.
Paul Feig told KYW-TV in Philadelphia that he tried to comfort a woman injured in the collapse until first responders arrived.
“I saw the house, it was a pile of rubble. Couldn’t believe what I saw so I rode over there to observe,” Feig said. “There were two people on the sidewalk but I went right up to the house. There was a woman trapped in there, I talked to her. She was on the phone with dispatch. She was half in tears. So was I.”