June 19, 2008
Building collapse at Rice


Storm winds toppled walls at a Rice University dormitory construction site Thursday afternoon, killing one construction worker and sending six others to hospitals, authorities said.

The collapse occurred about 4 p.m., as rain and high winds whipped through the McMurtry College construction site at Sunset and Rice boulevards, southeast of downtown, said B.J. Almond, the school's spokesman.

The fallen second-story walls pinned down five men working atop a platform, including the one who was killed, said Houston Fire Department Assistant Chief Omero Longoria.

"Three other men were injured trying to dig their friends out of the rubble," Longoria added.

Houston firefighters were called at 4:06 p.m. to help rescue those trapped.

Four men were immediately taken to Memorial Hermann and Ben Taub hospitals with "multiple trauma-related injuries," Longoria said. None of the injuries are expected to be life-threatening, Longoria said late Thursday.

''Four masonry walls collapsed,'' said Asst. Chief Rick Flanagan of the Houston Fire Department. "The integrity of the walls gave way. ... We've got crews working to shore up the area so that we may conduct an investigation."

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of the worker who was killed in the collapse.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 19, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston