Texas A&M rejects speculation that students didn't follow

Wednesday, November 24th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Texas A&M University officials Wednesday rejected a former professor's speculation that last week's deadly collapse of a tower of bonfire logs occurred because students failed to follow safety features.

Larry Grosse, a former A&M construction science professor who for 13 years refined safety techniques for the four-story, 7,000-log structure, suggested that the students had failed to interlock its layers or set poles into the ground as in previous years.

"Our best information ... indicates that what Larry Grosse described as 'should have happened' did happen," Cynthia Lawson,
executive director of university relations, said in a written statement Wednesday. "However, we obviously want to investigate this further."

Twelve people died and 27 were injured when the 40-foot log tower collapsed Nov. 18.

University administrator Rusty Thompson also confirmed on Tuesday that underclassmen had been working on the upper levels of the stack, a violation of university guidelines. All but two of those killed were underclassmen.