Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Philadelphia Crane Operator Surrenders

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The Philadelphia crane operator, who was wanted in connection with a building collapse that killed six people last week, has turned himself in to police, according to The Inquirer.

Sean Benschop, 43, who surrendered on Saturday, refused to give a statement on his role in Wednesday's collapse, according to The Inquirer. He is scheduled to be arraigned, but a time has not been set.

He was charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person, and one count of risking a catastrophe, police said.

At the time of the collapse, he was working for Griffin T. Campbell, the contractor hired by property owner Richard C. Basciano to tear down a four-story building next to the thrift store. On Wednesday, the remaining portion of that building collapsed during demolition and fell onto the store. There were 20 people inside.

Salvation Army employees Kimberly Finnegan and Borbor Davis and shoppers Juanita Harmon, Mary Simpson, Anne Bryan, and Roseline Conteh were killed. Fourteen others were injured. One survivor, Myra Plekan, spent more than 12 hours in the rubble before she was rescued by firefighters.

Sunday at noon, experts retained by the law firm Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky will be inspecting the site for evidence. The firm filed suit against the owner and contractor on behalf of Nadine White, a Salvation Army store clerk who survived.

According to a toxicology report, Benschop, of the 4900 block of North Seventh Street, had marijuana in his system at levels showing "he was unfit to perform safety-sensitive, job-related duties."

The report found it "reasonably scientifically certain" that Benschop was an "active recent user of marijuana."

Benschop has a long criminal record, with 11 arrests and 16 Traffic Court convictions. He served two terms in prison on drug charges in the 1990s.

Read more at The Inquirer.