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Philadelphia building collapse: Charges to be filed against high equipment operator

Sean Benschop was allegedly high at the time and will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Philadelphia building collapse that killed 6 people.

Philadelphia crane operator sean benschop 2013 06 07Enlarge
This undated police photo shows Sean Benschop, who also goes by the name Kary Roberts. (Philadelphia Police Department/Courtesy)

A 42-year-old man allegedly high while operating an excavator when a Philadelphia building collapsed, killing six, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Sean Benschop faces six counts of involuntary manslaughter, six counts of risking catastrophe and other charges, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison told The Associated Press on Friday.

Blood tests showed evidence that he was high on marijuana at the time.

Police sources told WPVI that Benschop also admitted to taking codeine and other prescription drugs.

More from GlobalPost: Philadelphia building collapse: Many feared trapped, injured (VIDEO)

According to police, he was operating the excavator Wednesday when a four-story building gave way and collapsed onto a thrift store and part of the street below.

Two employees and four customers were killed, and another 13 were injured.

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.

News of the charges comes as a lawsuit against demolition contractor Griffin Campbell gained speed.

He's accused of violating several federal safety violations, among other things.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the city is changing the way buildings are demolished in response.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130607/philadelphia-building-collapse-charges-equipment