Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – A demolition contractor from Philadelphia has been cited for a number of violations at the work site where a wall fell down onto a nearby Salvation Army store, causing deaths of 6 individuals, reports indicate.
The city has released some emails, permits and some other documents on Friday in connection with the collapse took place on 5th June. The collapse is now under civil as well as criminal investigations.
Sean Benschop, the demolition subcontractor who allegedly operated heavy equipment when it was impaired, has been charged with unintentional manslaughter. The documents show that Griffin Campbell, the main contractor, had been cited 2 months ago for beginning interior tearing down work before notifying the city. Campbell had also been cited for storing asbestos-containing materials in a dust bin at the work site. Campbell told the investigator somebody had thrown away the dangerous substance into the truck he owns.
The records indicate that asbestos has been discovered at the work site since then – in spite of a pre-demolition pledge the structures were free of asbestos.
Campbell’s attorney didn’t immediately return any message on Friday, but he had told earlier that his client was a very experienced demolition contractor who was there on the site the day the wall collapsed.
Asbestos is a group of mineral fibers occurring in the nature. Asbestos is very strong and it has excellent resistance against heat, corrosion, fire and electricity. Because of such useful properties, the material was extensively used until the 1980s as fire proofing and insulation. Additionally, it was used as an element in other construction materials such as cements and ceiling tiles. There are 3 main sorts of asbestos – amosite or brown asbestos, crocidolite or blue asbestos, and chrysotile or white asbestos.
The hazards of asbestos exposure became known in the 1980s. Since then, the material has been highly regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Quality. Whoever violates asbestos safety regulations can be penalized. Exposure to asbestos is linked to serious respiratory disorders and deadly diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos-related diseases won’t occur soon after the exposure. Instead, they normally take 20 to 40 years or even more time to start showing their symptoms. But, once detected, they won’t take much time to kill the victims. Mesothelioma patients usually die within 18 months after getting diagnosed with the disease.