john plunkett Obituary, Tragic Accident Claims the Life of John Plunkett in Blairsville, PA

John Plunkett’s Demise in a Crumbling Building Inspection

Blairsville borough officials have confirmed the unfortunate incident that resulted in the death of John Plunkett, a 63-year-old resident of Blairsville, PA. Plunkett lost his life after a three-story fall into the basement of a dilapidated former school during an inspection for demolition. The accident occurred on Wednesday, leaving one worker injured and Plunkett with fatal blunt force injuries. Despite efforts to save him, Plunkett succumbed to his injuries at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, as reported by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.

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Emergency Response and Rescue Efforts

Officer David Romagnoli, along with borough firemen, heroically rescued Plunkett from the debris-filled basement, freeing him in just 15 minutes. The injured worker, located outside the building, provided crucial information about Plunkett’s whereabouts to the authorities. He was promptly transported to Forbes Hospital in Monroeville and is currently in stable condition, receiving necessary medical care.

Investigation and Safety Concerns

Blairsville Police Chief Louis J. Sacco revealed that the incident took place around 12:45 p.m. on South Walnut and Short streets. The building’s deteriorating condition and the collapsed roof were cited as the cause of the tragic fall. Immediate action was taken to evacuate nearby residences on Short Street due to concerns about the structural integrity of the wall adjacent to the accident site.

Building Ownership and History

The building in question, known as the Third Ward Elementary, has a troubled history. Previously used as a school, it has remained empty since 2009. Ownership records indicate that Abraham Fellerbaum of Spring Valley, NY, is the current owner. However, Fellerbaum declined to provide any comments on the matter. Blairsville-Saltsburg School District has sold the property multiple times, with prices ranging from $15,000 to $645.62.

Ensuring Public Safety and Legal Actions

Blairsville borough officials, including Borough Manager Jody Poorbaugh and Consultant Engineer Michael G. Meyer, have taken immediate measures to assess the safety of nearby buildings and address concerns raised by residents. The condemnation of two Short Street properties has been enforced as a precautionary step. The borough authorities assure residents that their concerns regarding building safety will be addressed through legal channels.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, focusing on the inspection and condition of the building. Authorities continue to examine the premises to determine the exact cause of the tragic accident.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family, friends, and community affected by this devastating incident.

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