Pa. building collapses, people believed trapped

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
79,215
27,699
898
Seattle
#1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Emergency crews are at the scene of a building collapse in Philadelphia, and the fire commissioner says as many as eight to 10 people are believed trapped in the rubble.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says dozens of paramedics and fire crews are on the scene working to find those trapped. WPVI-TV reports that five people have been taken to hospitals.

There is no word on exactly what caused the building to collapse.

The accident happened at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. A building on the block has been under construction.
Live coverage:
http://news.yahoo.com/pa-building-collapses-people-believed-trapped-153036107.html
 

ruckstande

Posts mostly from the shitter.
Apr 2, 2005
15,495
4,845
693
South Jersey
#2
I think they are taking down the building next to the Salvation Army store on the corner and the wall from the building collapsed onto the store. Myfoxphilly. Com has pictures.
 

tattered

Uber-Aryan
Wackbag Staff
Aug 22, 2002
24,589
8,689
918
JERZ
#3
My sister was 3 buildings over. She thought it was an earthquake
 

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
16,437
3,932
373
#7
I walked near a salvation army store once. Still have a shitty life.
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,485
21,309
693
Maine
#9
Whoopsie...

Sean Benschop Charges: Equipment Operator Was On Drugs During Philadelphia Building Collapse, Officials Say



This undated Philadelphia Police photo shows Sean Benschop, who also goes by the name Kary Roberts. Benschop, 42, who was allegedly high while operating demolition equipment when a downtown building collapsed and killed six people, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a top city official said Friday, June 7, 2013.

PHILADELPHIA -- A heavy equipment operator with a lengthy rap sheet was high on marijuana when a downtown building collapsed onto a thrift store, killing six people, and he will be charged in their deaths, a top city official said as authorities moved swiftly to assign blame for the deadly construction mishap.

Police are looking for Sean Benschop, 42, to charge him with six counts each of involuntary manslaughter, risking a catastrophe, reckless endangerment and other offenses, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison told The Associated Press on Friday evening, little more than two days after the collapse on Philadelphia's busy Market Street.

Authorities believe Benschop had been using an excavator Wednesday when the remains of the four-story building gave way and toppled onto an attached Salvation Army thrift store, killing two employees and four customers, and injuring 13 others.

A toxicology report showed "evidence that he was high" on marijuana, Gillison said. That finding, combined with witness statements and evidence from the scene, led to the decision Friday to raid his North Philadelphia home and later seek an arrest warrant, he said.

"The D.A. has approved it (his arrest), and my police officers are out looking for him as we speak," said Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety.

Benschop did not return phone messages left at numbers listed in his name, though he told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday that he couldn't comment because of the investigation.

Benschop, who also goes by the name Kary Roberts, has been arrested at least 11 times since 1994 on charges ranging from drugs to theft to weapons possession, according to court records. He was twice sentenced to prison in the 1990s after being convicted on drug trafficking charges. Benschop's last arrest, for aggravated assault, came in January 2012, but the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.

As the criminal investigation heated up, at least two survivors sued the demolition contractor and building owner, alleging gross recklessness at the job site.

The city, meanwhile, promised to crack down on the demolition industry.

"We can do much better," Mayor Michael Nutter told a news conference Friday. "We will not accept the status quo in the face of this tragedy."

Nutter's reform plan for construction sites includes the random drug testing of heavy equipment operators.

"If that's a factor here, that certainly takes things in a very different direction," Nutter said hours before the charges against Benschop were confirmed.

The mayor also pledged to adopt tougher background requirements for demolition contractors, including information about each worker's experience, and more frequent site inspections when demolitions are underway.

His plan could run into resistance from builders who say they're already highly regulated.

"I think that before we do anything, before we rush to any judgment about how to fix what happened, we have to have all the facts," said Steven Lakin, executive managing director of the General Building Contractors Association, a trade group representing Philadelphia-area contractors. "Everybody wants to regulate demolition contractors, but I'm not so sure that's the answer."

Lawyers for the two survivors who have filed suit accuse demolition contractor Griffin Campbell – who has a criminal background and has filed for bankruptcy twice – of violating federal safety regulations.

They say building owner Richard Basciano should have picked a more qualified and competent contractor to do the work.

Plaintiff Linda Bell, a 50-year-old mother of three, was shopping at the thrift store when the building came down on top of her. She fell into the basement and was covered by rubble for more than an hour.

"She's still shook up real bad, sore, swollen up," Bell's brother, Keith Bell, told the AP on Friday. She's also suffering mental anguish from "seeing other people getting killed," he said.

Construction engineers have said thrift store should have been evacuated during critical phases of the demolition project next door.

The Salvation Army was concerned enough about the demolition that its attorneys reached out to a lawyer for building owner STB Investments Corp., a company linked to prominent businessman and developer Richard Basciano.

"There was communication between The Salvation Army and the attorney of the neighboring building's owner, pertaining to the demolition. The neighbor assured The Salvation Army that they would be taking proper precautions," Maj. Robert W. Dixon, director of operations of The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, said in a statement Friday afternoon.

"These discussions were never finalized," he said.
Link

Feets don't fail me now...
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
54,250
12,980
438
Atlanta, GA
#11
I was in a building when this happened. I don't even want to think about how to close I came to death.
 

CougarHunter

Lying causes cat piss smell.
Mar 2, 2006
10,598
2,574
566
KC Metro
#12
I was 1222.46 miles from there, shit that was a close call!
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
Donator
Jan 14, 2002
32,840
4,566
898
Land of misfit toys
#14
Is there a level for pot to be considered high? Or is it just positive for it in your blood and urine? If the guy had a script for the percocet...I know there is an acceptable level that a person can have in their system for pain management and be considered ok....seen it in numerous car accident cases.
One in particular was a woman who crashed her Miata into a telephone pole by the local mall. Had Blowouts to both ankles. Had a pharmacy of pain scripts in her bag, all legal. Positive for percodan. Never charged with with anything.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,575
22,234
398
Northern California
#15
Is there a level for pot to be considered high? Or is it just positive for it in your blood and urine? If the guy had a script for the percocet...I know there is an acceptable level that a person can have in their system for pain management and be considered ok....seen it in numerous car accident cases.
One in particular was a woman who crashed her Miata into a telephone pole by the local mall. Had Blowouts to both ankles. Had a pharmacy of pain scripts in her bag, all legal. Positive for percodan. Never charged with with anything.

For heavy equipment operation, there's often a zero tolerance policy for any drug (prescription included). It's often much stricter than driving a car.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
Wackbag Staff
Aug 26, 2002
103,806
16,918
919
Your house, behind the couch
#16
He was operating it with one arm in a cast, on painkillers
and was smoking grass. I think that might be a problem.
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
Donator
Jan 14, 2002
32,840
4,566
898
Land of misfit toys
#17
He was operating it with one arm in a cast, on painkillers
and was smoking grass. I think that might be a problem.
Well yeah....but why did his employer allow it? 1 arm in a sling??? Looks to me like it requires 2 arms functional to perform the job.
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,485
21,309
693
Maine
#19
Sean Benschop, equipment operator in Philadelphia building collapse probe, surrenders





A heavy equipment operator with a lengthy rap sheet who is accused of being high on marijuana when a downtown building collapsed onto a thrift store, killing six people, surrendered Saturday to face charges in the deaths, police said.

Sean Benschop faces six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of risking a catastrophe. A warrant had been issued for his arrest and police had been searching for him.

Authorities believe the 42-year-old Benschop had been using an excavator Wednesday when the remains of the four-story building gave way and toppled onto an attached Salvation Army thrift store, killing two employees and four customers and injuring 13 others.

Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said a toxicology report showed evidence that Benschop was high on marijuana. That finding, combined with witness statements and evidence from the scene, led to the decision Friday to raid his North Philadelphia home and later seek an arrest warrant, he said.

Benschop didn't return phone messages left by The Associated Press at numbers listed in his name.

Benschop, who also goes by the name Kary Roberts, has been arrested at least 11 times since 1994 on charges ranging from drugs to theft to weapons possession, according to court records. He was twice sentenced to prison in the 1990s after being convicted on drug trafficking charges. Benschop's last arrest, on a charge of aggravated assault, came in January 2012, but the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.

As the criminal investigation heated up, at least two survivors sued the demolition contractor and building owner, alleging gross recklessness at the job site.

The city, meanwhile, promised to crack down on the demolition industry.

"We can do much better," Mayor Michael Nutter said at a news conference Friday. "We will not accept the status quo in the face of this tragedy."
Nutter's reform plan for construction sites includes random drug testing on heavy equipment operators.

"If that's a factor here, that certainly takes things in a very different direction," he said hours before the charges against Benschop were confirmed.

The mayor also pledged to adopt tougher background requirements for demolition contractors, including information about each worker's experience, and more frequent site inspections when demolitions are underway.

His plan could run into resistance from builders who say they're already highly regulated.

"I think that before we do anything, before we rush to any judgment about how to fix what happened, we have to have all the facts," said Steven Lakin, executive managing director of the General Building Contractors Association, a trade group representing Philadelphia-area contractors. "Everybody wants to regulate demolition contractors, but I'm not so sure that's the answer."

Lawyers for the two survivors who have sued accuse demolition contractor Griffin Campbell — who has a criminal background and has filed for bankruptcy twice — of violating federal safety regulations. They say building owner Richard Basciano should have picked a more qualified and competent contractor to do the work.

No one answered the phone at a listing for Campbell on Saturday, and the voice mailbox was full.

Plaintiff Linda Bell, a 50-year-old mother of three, was shopping at the thrift store when the building came down on top of her. She fell into the basement and was covered by rubble for more than an hour.

"She's still shook up real bad, sore, swollen up," Bell's brother, Keith Bell, told the AP on Friday. She's also suffering mental anguish from "seeing other people getting killed," he said.

Construction engineers have said the thrift store should have been evacuated during critical phases of the demolition project next door.
The Salvation Army was concerned enough about the demolition that its attorneys reached out to a lawyer for building owner STB Investments Corp., a company linked to prominent businessman and developer Richard Basciano.

"There was communication between The Salvation Army and the attorney of the neighboring building's owner, pertaining to the demolition.

The neighbor assured The Salvation Army that they would be taking proper precautions," Maj. Robert W. Dixon, director of operations of
The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, said in a statement Friday afternoon.

"These discussions were never finalized," he said.
Link

Hmmm wonder why the FBI is there... at least I think that is an FBI badge. Hudson
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,541
13,853
608
Idaho
#20


Even with all his problems, he manages to give a "thumbs-up" sign.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
79,215
27,699
898
Seattle
#21

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
79,215
27,699
898
Seattle
#22
I don't like this pot stuff. There is no blood test that can determine if you are high.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
79,215
27,699
898
Seattle
#24
The AP is reporting that the inspector who inspected the building before it collapsed last week has committed suicide.