1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

2 dead in PA after building falls durring demo

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Dozerboy, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,205
    Occupation:
    Operator
    Location:
    TX
    Boy that would make ya never want to sit in the seat again. thoughts for everyone evolved.

    CNN story
     
  2. Diesel gal

    Diesel gal Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    23
    Occupation:
    Vice President of BeCarbCompliant
    Location:
    California
    Somebody made a big mistake. My heart goes out to all involved
     
  3. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,371
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    someone told me today that they were bringing someone up on criminal charges relating to this accident.
     
  4. caterpillarmech

    caterpillarmech Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    533
    Occupation:
    Field Service Supervisor
    Location:
    Florence Texas
    Yahoo said the same this morning. Bad, bad, bad and going to get worse.
     
  5. Stump Knocker

    Stump Knocker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    92
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Deltona,Fl.
  6. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,397
    Occupation:
    Self employed excavator
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    Sounds like his boss needs to go to jail too.
     
  7. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    10,203
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Everyone involved in this tragedy should be charged including the city inspection department for allowing this to go on.

    I just can't phathom demo'ing a building adjacent to another building while people are in there!:confused::mad: This gives our industry a bad wrap because of these dumbasses.

    Was it a crane or an excavator the moron was operating?
     
  8. tuney443

    tuney443 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,212
    Occupation:
    excavating contractor
    Location:
    Dutchess County,NY
    Now it's 6 dead,14 injured. Both the operator and the contractor deserve each other------in prison hopefully! That $10K on the demo permit alone should have been an early indicator that something was wrong.

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A felon 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.

    Sean Benschop, 42, faces six manslaughter counts along with six counts of risking a catastrophe, six counts of reckless endangerment and other charges, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison told The Associated Press.

    Advertisement

    Authorities believe Benschop had been using an excavator Wednesday when what was left of the four-story building gave way and fell on top of a neighboring 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, the deputy mayor for public safety. 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.

    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. The victims include a pair of 24-year-old artist friends shopping at the store and a newly engaged woman working her first day there.

    Video shot of the scene days before the fatal collapse showed bricks falling onto a sidewalk, which remained open to pedestrians, as a worker used heavy equipment to take out a front wall. Some blame has been lobbed at demolition contractor Griffin Campbell, whose background includes arrests for drugs, assault and insurance fraud, along with two bankruptcy filings. He was being paid $10,000 for the job, according to the demolition permit.

    Campbell violated several federal safety regulations, while building owner Richard Basciano should have picked a more qualified and competent contractor to do the work, said lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi, who represents injured store worker Nadine White in a lawsuit filed against the pair.

    "From what we can understand, given (Campbell's) checkered past, and what appears to be a total lack of experience and know-how, we believe that was a grossly negligent selection," said Mongeluzzi, who won court permission Friday to examine the debris after city officials finish their investigation.

    The collapse has brought swift and mounting fallout in a city where demolition contractors are lightly regulated. Officials have begun inspecting hundreds of demolition sites citywide, and a city councilman charged that dangerous, under-the-radar tear-downs are taking place throughout Philadelphia.

    The city is preparing to implement sweeping changes in its regulations of building demolition, Mayor Michael Nutter said Friday, adding that every active demolition site is being inspected for safety.

    The mayor appeared forlorn at the afternoon news conference at City Hall, apologizing to the victims' families for the deaths and promising the city would do better. "We lack the resources to have a police officer on every corner, or L&I (License and Inspections) at every construction site every hour of the day, (but) we can do much better," Nutter said. "We will not accept the status quo in the face of this tragedy."

    Nutter's reform plan for construction sites that 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 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.

    Construction engineers have said adjacent buildings should be evacuated during critical phases of a demolition project. The other victims also include two immigrants from Africa, a 68-year-old man from Liberia described as a devoted husband and Salvation Army worker, and a 52-year-old woman from Sierra Leone who had nine children and loved to hunt for bargains.

    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.

    Rubinkam reported from northeastern Pennsylvania. Associated Press writers JoAnn Loviglio, Kevin Begos and Keith Collins contributed to this report, along with AP's News and Information Research Center.
     
  9. FRISKY

    FRISKY Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Oklahoma
  10. Stump Knocker

    Stump Knocker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    92
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Deltona,Fl.
    If I saw that POS in the cab of anything I would run!!!
     
  11. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,046
    Occupation:
    Operator
    Location:
    Porkchop City

    Yeah, I am no estimator, but that sounds awfully cheap for the demo of a commercial building. What a sad story. My condolences to the injured and their families. Not only are the operator and contractor screwed up, but according to this article http://www.phillymag.com/realestate...chard-porn-king-basiano-a-sam-rappaport-alum/ the owner of the property, Richard Basciano, has a shady history as well.
     
  12. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,046
    Occupation:
    Operator
    Location:
    Porkchop City
  13. tuney443

    tuney443 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,212
    Occupation:
    excavating contractor
    Location:
    Dutchess County,NY
    Well that pretty much sums up all the safety violations.These guys are just so so screwed.
     
  14. cat345bl

    cat345bl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    70
    Occupation:
    Trucking Industry
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I can Elaborate on this a little bit since I am from the Philly area, but Benschop was operating the 315BL when the building collapsed and landed on the thrift store. The PC160 from Gama Wrecking assisted in the search and rescue operations. Gama also brought some more equipment during the night from a church that they where knocking down and later took over demolition of the remaining structure that did not collapse. There are a lot of these unprofessional "demolition" contractors in the Philadelphia area as there is in probably any run down major city. They should of not being doing the demo especially with the equipment they had, and the condition of the "operator" . There are better professional Demo companies in the area that can do the work safe such as Geppert or JPC.
     
  15. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,046
    Occupation:
    Operator
    Location:
    Porkchop City
    I believe Geppert has been doing demo for 70 years or something like that. I think they were the ones that demoed Veterans Stadium.
     
  16. cat345bl

    cat345bl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    70
    Occupation:
    Trucking Industry
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Brandenburg did Vetrans Stadium, Geppert did the Spectrum. Geppert has a long history of demolishing large structures in Philadelphia.