Prosecutors Looking Into A&M Fire

Friday, May 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) — Prosecutors are looking into the possibility of criminal charges in the Texas A&M University bonfire collapse.

``I'm not saying we have any evidence of negligent homicide in this case, but any time we have an unexplained death, we do an investigation,'' Brazos County District Attorney Bill Turner said.

Turner said his investigation has ruled out sabotage but not negligence in the Nov. 18 accident that killed 12 people and injured 27.

The university's own report on the collapse will be reviewed by a panel of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers that will decide whether any state laws or engineering standards were violated.

The report, issued Tuesday, blamed flawed construction techniques and a lack of supervision of students assembling the 2 million-pound log stack.

Under Texas law, projects that cost more than $8,000 and may affect public safety must be supervised and designed by licensed engineers.

Professional engineers historically have had no formal role in the construction of the log pile, which is built every year before the football game between A&M and the University of Texas.

Lane Stephenson, an A&M spokesman, said the university ``will cooperate with the board and provide any desired information.''

University President Ray Bowen has promised a decision in about six weeks on whether the 90-year-old tradition will continue.