Reports: Contractor charged in fatal building collapse

Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:39:53 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 25 2013 02:16:35 PM EST

Philadelphia's district attorney charged a contractor Monday with murder and manslaughter in the June building collapse that left six dead, according to multiple local media reports.

Griffin T. Campbell faces six counts of third degree murder, six counts of involuntary manslaughter and 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person in the collapse just after 10 a.m. on June 5.

Sean Benschop, 42, a crane operator at the site, has also been charged in the case.

He faces six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person, and one count of "risking a catastrophe," after marijuana and pain medication were found in his blood.

Benschop was allegedly working a crane to tear down a vacant building in downtown Philadelphia when a four-story wall collapsed onto a Salvation Army thrift store, causing an ominous rumble followed by panic on the streets.

Afterward, searchers climbed over shards of wood, concrete and rebar looking for survivors.

The first lawsuit against Benschop was filed that same day, by attorneys for a 54-year-old woman pulled from the rubble by a firefighter.

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