Building under construction collapses on Texas A&M University property in College Station


The building -- a 300-foot barn, part of a new $80 million university equestrian complex in the 3500 block of F&B Road -- was under construction when it fell around 11am Saturday.

According to the College Station Fire Department, four men were working within the frame. They were on overhead lifts, bolting steel together, when the metal frame collapsed.

The men fell to the ground on top of the debris. Luckily, they weren't buried underneath it all.

As part of the rescue operation, cranes were brought in to stabilize the structure.

According to Tim Ottinger, spokesperson for St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, all four of the injured workers were taken to the hospital by ambulance. One 32-year-old victim was treated and released Saturday. Two others, both 22, were released Sunday.

One 35-year-old victim remained in the hospital Saturday night. At last check, that person was listed in critical condition.

College Station and Bryan fire departments, campus police and Texas A&M emergency medical personnel all responded to the accident. For a time, emergency responders had to halt the search for the four because of concerns about another collapse.

"After that time search and rescue efforts were suspended until the remainder of the structure that was still standing could be stabilized," according to a statement from the College Station Fire Department. "After the structure was secured a secondary search of the area was conducted to ensure that all patients had been located."

We're told other workers were there when the frame collapsed, but they were far enough away to avoid getting injured. Authorities said everyone who was on site is accounted for.

Texas A&M police are still trying to determine what caused the collapse. They identified the contractor as Houston-based Gamma Construction Company. We have reached out to the company but haven't heard back.

Gamma Construction has its home office in the Galleria area. According to its website, it's been in business since 1985. The site shows the equine center as one of the company's current projects, calling the future facility a premier location that "will enhance Texas A&M University's equine program and will consolidate not only academic programs, but clubs and associations to one premier location in order to teach, train, conduct research, exhibit and showcase events."

The first phase of the equestrian center was set for completion in 2014. The facility will include locker rooms, offices, a concessions building, a 50-stall barn, plus practice arenas and two covered competition arenas, according to the university.

The facility was under contruction on university property, but not directly on campus. No additional details were immediately available

We will continue following this developing story and we'll keep you updated on Eyewitness News and as more information comes into the newsroom.

Find Pooja on Facebook at PoojaLodhia-Reporter or on Twitter at @impoojalodhia

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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