First Hearing on Collapse Set for Wednesday

Council plans on Wednesday to hold its first hearing into demolitions and other issues surrounding last week’s fatal building collapse.

Majority Leader Curtis Jones Jr., who is chairing the newly-created committee, said he anticipates calling officials from the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Council announced the new investigative committee in the wake of the collapse at 22nd and Market Streets, where an unsupported wall fell on an adjacent Salvation Army thrift store, killing six and injuring 13.

The operator of an excavator at the demolition site, Sean Benschop, has been charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter. A toxicology report found marijuana in his system.

The L&I inspector who had responsibility for overseeing the demolitions was found dead Wednesday night in an apparent suicide.

Jones said Council first intends to explore what standards apply to demolitions conducted by the city and those conducted by private firms.

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