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Rescuers free North Side woman pinned in porch collapse

| Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 5:54 p.m.
Pittsburgh Police, Firefighters and Paramedics work to free a woman who became trapped when a flight of stairs collapsed as she was leaving her home at Allegheny Commons East, Thursday, January 31, 2013. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

A North Side woman was trapped in a metal staircase for more than 30 minutes on Thursday evening when her second-floor porch collapsed in the Allegheny Commons East apartment complex.

The woman — identified by relatives as Annette Wade, 51 — was conscious and talking when she was taken to Allegheny General Hospital with injuries on both legs, said G. Stephen Carlson, district chief of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, who directed the rescue operation along East Ohio Street.

“She was walking down the steps when the whole porch came down like a bomb (around 5:22 p.m.),” said a neighbor, Valerie Taylor.

Two of Wade's nephews who had walked down the steps ahead of her — Chris Joseph, 25, and Bradie Jones, 26 — tried to lift the staircase, but her leg was trapped.

“When I came out, some people were holding up the steps so that there wouldn't be as much pressure on her legs,” said Jamisha Williams, a tutor for Circle of Hope Outreach Ministries.

“My aunt was in pain, she was cold, she was screaming for help,” Joseph said.

Paramedics and firefighters used power tools to cut the stairs and part of the wall to release Wade, Carlson said.

Jones said Wade has made complaints to management about the steps.

Apartment managers could not be reached for comment. City building inspectors are investigating.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.

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