Equipment operator surrenders in Phila. building collapse

PHILADELPHIA — 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 yesterday to face charges in the deaths, police said.

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


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

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