National

Jun 8, 2013 4:12 PM by Associated Press

Operator in Pa. collapse deaths turns self in

PHILADELPHIA - A heavy equipment operator who authorities say was high on marijuana when a Philadelphia building collapsed onto a thrift store, killing six people, has turned himself in to face charges.

Police Lt. John Stanford says Sean Benschop turned himself in Saturday.

He faces six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of risking a catastrophe.

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 four people and injuring 13 others.

Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says a toxicology report showed evidence that Benschop was high on marijuana.

Benschop told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday that he couldn't comment because of the investigation.

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