PHILADELPHIA – A judge has ruled that the demolition contractor charged in the deaths of six people buried when a building collapsed in Philadelphia must meet bail of $1.55 million.
Sean Benschop had previously been held without bail on six charges of manslaughter. But a judge ruled at a preliminary hearing Wednesday that Benschop must pay bail of $900,000 on the manslaughter charges in addition to the $650,000 in bail on the 13 counts of reckless endangerment he also faces.
The hearing was continued until Sept. 17 to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.
Investigators say Benschop was impaired by marijuana and painkillers while operating heavy equipment on a vacant building under demolition. His lawyer says Benschop was fit to work.
A four-story brick wall collapsed onto the Salvation Army shop on June 5, killing six and injuring 13.