Jackson, MI Building Collapse, Oct 1956
6 MEN STILL TRAPPED IN DEBRIS AT JACKSON.
RESCUE OPERATIONS SUSPENDED FOR NOW.
AT LEAST 7 PROBES PLANNED TO FIND CAUSE OF COLLAPSE.
SURVIVOR OF VICTIM SAYS CEMENT 'GREEN' AND CALLS IT MURDER.
Jackson, Mich. (UP) -- Seven separate investigations, several already underway, were promised to determine the cause and responsibility
for the death of 10 men in the collapse of a four-story building under construction.
Two University of Michigan professors, Leo M. Legatski and Glenn L. Alt, both specialists in civil engineering and building structures, arrived in connection with a contractors' investigation.
The engineering educators said they would take concrete core samples later to find out if charges of "green concrete" or poor quality concrete are justified.
Six bodies are still buried in the tangle of steel and concrete.
State Police Capt. Forest White said the fire marshal's division of state police would investigate the disaster, and listed these other investigations also planned:
A legislative committee probe headed by State Rep. Wilfred G. Bassett of Jackson County; investigation by the insurance companies involved;
by the contractors; by the city of Jackson building department, and by Consumers Power Co., building owners.
The announcement of the investigations came on the heels of charges by Jackson Fire Chief Harold Crawford, director of rescue operations, and workmen charged "green concrete" was the cause of the collapse.
They said forms were taken off concrete floors and work continued on higher stories within a few days, before the concrete hardened. Main contractor Frank Herlihy, Chicago, said this wasn't so, that each floor had weeks to "set" before the next floor went up.
Rescue work was suspended early this morning while pillars and beams which could injure rescuers were pulled or knocked down. Just before the suspension of operations, four bloody helmets were found in a basement corner.
To reports the building was designed to withstand atomic attack, Walter C. Schmidt, construction superintendent for Consumers Power Co., said:
"There was a small room in the basement built to withstand atomic attack. It was to house the power distribution center in case of an atomic bomb attack. But that was all."
A plumber who escaped from the basement and whose father was killed in the thunderous four-story collapse, said failure to allow the concrete to set was the cause.
The plumber, GEORGE BERRY, JR., said, "My father is in that building now because of it."
"That was no accident," BERRY said. "It was murder."
BERRY said that forms were removed in three or four days from 10 1/2 inches of cement poured into the floors in the partially completed office building which collapsed and trapped the workers Wednesday.
"Cement poured that recently is green cement and it is never safe," BERRY said.
Three hundred rescue workers dug throughout the night for six of the bodies still buried in the tons of steel and concrete which poured in the building's basement.
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