Frantic family rang cell for rescuers in

June 09 [Sun], 2013, 16:39
By Dan Kelley

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Borbor Davis' family dialed his cell phone every hour, hoping its ring would be heard by rescuers searching through the rubble of a building that collapsed on his workplace in Philadelphia.

But the cell phone went unanswered as darkness fell on Wednesday. Authorities later said Davis' body had been found buried under the debris.

Davis, 68, was among six people killed when a building under demolition collapsed on a neighboring Salvation Army Thrift Store at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday. Fourteen people were injured in the incident, one critically.

Davis, who had been working in the store's basement, had spoken to his wife, Maggy Davis, just 15 minutes before the building collapsed, she said in an interview on Thursday at their home in Darby Borough, Pennsylvania, three miles from the scene of the downtown collapse.

"I'm hurt about my husband's death. I want him. I want to grow old together," the distraught widow said. "He was my husband, he was my friend."

She was upset over news reports, which authorities said were inaccurate, that search efforts were suspended Wednesday evening before her husband's body was found.

Authorities said on Thursday that the search continued and would not be halted until the entire area had been covered.

Davis' daughter-in-law, Michelle McClain, recalled the family's harrowing effort to find him and the hope that his cell phone ring might save his life. The family had called 911 and their local news channels in an attempt to get a message through to city officials that Davis was buried in the debris.

"I was calling his cell phone every hour on the hour, hoping they could hear his cell phone, but it didn't happen that way," McClain said.

She said the family learned of Davis' death from a television reporter who was at their home late on Wednesday.

Borbor Davis came from Liberia to the United States, where he lived with his wife and their large combined family.

"He was a good man. He was very nice. He loved his job and he loved his family," Maggy Davis said. "You would never hear him say anything bad about anybody."

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Doina Chiacu)



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