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Tragic demolition accident brings additional criminal charges

Material developments continue to play out in the aftermath of a tragic accident that occurred this past summer in neighboring Pennsylvania. Such an incident is hardly singular to that state and could happen in Ohio or virtually anywhere else across the country. We trace some important details here for our readers.

As many of our readers might likely recollect, a deadly construction accident occurred in Philadelphia on June 5. During the process of bringing down a decrepit building, an unsupported and destabilized wall crashed down on an adjacent store, killing six people and injuring 13 others.

A crane operator was charged on multiple criminal counts in the case, and was allegedly high on marijuana and other drugs at the time of the accident.

Just last week, a second principal in the case, deemed the person “at the center of culpability for the collapse” by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, was also charged in the matter.

That person is Griffin Campbell, the contractor of the project. Campbell was charged with murder, manslaughter, reckless endangerment and additional criminal counts. Allegedly, Campbell failed to heed a warning from an architect on the night preceding the collapse that the wall was unstable and needed to be shored up. Williams also stated that Campbell removed stabilizing floor joists prior to the demolition, which contributed to the accident.

A number of lawsuits have been filed by victims’ families in the matter. In addition to the crane operator and Campbell, named defendants include building owner Richard Basciano and additional parties.

Source: Fox News, “Philadelphia contractor who oversaw botched building demolition charged with murder, manslaughter,” Nov. 25, 2013