UT Dallas Planning July 11 Memorial Event

A moment of silence at noon July 11 will honor two workers who died when a tower crane collapsed while being disassembled on the campus.

University of Texas at Dallas student leaders are organizing a moment of silence at noon July 11 on the campus mall to honor two construction workers who died July 7 when part of a tower crane collapsed. Dr. Gene Fitch, dean of students, said in a statement that the moment of silence is a response to student concern about the incident. "This is a way in which we can honor the deceased and show our respect to the families of those who lost their loved ones. It also is an opportunity for us to grieve as a community," he said.

Student Government president Raj Dwivedi and Dr. Tom Linehan, director of the Arts and Technology program, will speak during the event, which is open to the public. The construction workers died when part of the boom of the crane fell, reportedly as a storm cell crossed the site. The crane was being dismantled at the time at the university's Arts and Technology Building.

The workers, identified as Terry Weaver and Thomas Fairbrother, were employed by Hunt Construction Group (www.huntconstructiongroup.com), which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. The company, established in 1944, builds stadiums, educational buildings, and other major facilities nationwide.

No students or staff of the university were hurt in the collapse. The university initially shut down the area but it reopened later that day when the UT Dallas Police Department declared it safe.

The university extended its condolences to the families of the victims and announced the Office of Student Affairs would help their families. The Office of Student Volunteerism and other student organizations will meet July 9 to consider how to assist them, according to the university's statement.

Hunt Construction Group posted a statement saying in part, "Hunt Construction Group and all parties involved with the construction of the project are working closely with OSHA and the local authorities during the ongoing investigation. While nothing conclusive has been made available, several media groups have been reporting on the situation."

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