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Contractor charged in fatal accident

It's not unusual to see construction work being done in places like Long Beach, California. In fact, it may not even occur to most people to avoid construction zones. However, individuals can be in a great deal of danger if construction and demolition projects are not handled correctly. A fatal accident at a demolition site resulted in multiple injuries and deaths earlier this year. Now, the contractor identified as the defendant in the case is facing numerous civil and criminal accusations.

The Investigation continues in the fatal accident case playing out before the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grand jury. The incident, which occurred in June, happened when customers and employees inside a Philadelphia Salvation Army thrift store were buried beneath a four-story brick wall that fell on top of the store. 13 people were injured in the incident and six others reportedly died.

The contractor overseeing the demolition project is now accused as causing the incident. According to the district attorney, the defendant in the case dismantled the wall from the inside out in an effort to salvage materials for resale. Important structural components of the wall were allegedly removed from the inside, ultimately resulting in the collapse. The defendant is also accused of lying to and architect about the condition of the wall before the incident occurred, and ignoring the architect's concerns in the first place.

The defendant now faces reckless endangerment charges for each of the injury victims, in addition to involuntary manslaughter and third-degree murder charges for the six fatality victims. The excavator on the demolition project also faces numerous reckless endangerment and manslaughter charges.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines have been issued against the defendant by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Furthermore, he is named in multiple lawsuits from the accident victims themselves.

Source: NBC News, "Contractor faces murder charges in Philly building collapse," Karen Araiza, Nov. 25, 2013

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