2 dead in crane collapse on UT-Dallas campus

RICHARDSON, Texas (AP) — A crane collapse on the University of Texas at Dallas campus killed two construction workers Saturday, officials said, leaving a mangled chunk of the crane laying atop an unfinished building where workers were heard screaming as the accident unfolded.

The crane collapsed while being dismantled, the university said in a statement posted on its website. There were no immediate reports of other injuries.

Arnand Gayapershad told reporters he and others in the nearby library on campus were startled by the sound of screaming.

"Then we heard a loud crashing sound, like metal from the sky," said Gayapershad, in an interview posted on the website of Dallas television station WFAA. "Then we heard more screaming."

Gayapershad said another person at the library reported seeing "something similar to scaffolding" tip over when a big gust of wind came through. A band of thunderstorms moving into the area on Saturday afternoon brought sudden wind gusts that reached upward of 40 mph, said Matt Bishop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The crane was being used during construction of an arts and technology building on campus. The school encouraged students and the community to stay away from that side of campus after the accident.

University spokeswoman Katherine Morales said she had no further details about the crane collapse. A message left at the Richardson fire department was not immediately returned.

The 155,000-square-foot building was originally scheduled to be completed next year. The $60 million facility will have more than 2,100 classrooms and an auditorium, according to the university.

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