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2 Die in Atlanta Arena Construction

October 3, 1998

ATLANTA (AP) _ Two construction workers were killed while working at the Atlanta Arena construction site.

The workers were setting a 40,000-pound concrete slab about 50 feet above the ground when it broke loose Friday night. One man was thrown to the ground. The other man rode the concrete slab to the ground but was crushed underneath it.

One of the men was identified as Sam Caraway Sr., 38. The name of the other was not immediately made public.

Construction on the arena scheduled to open next year was halted until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration completes its investigation, said Al Boudy, an investigator for the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.

The arena will be the new home of the Atlanta Hawks and the NHL expansion Atlanta Thrashers

Atlanta Arena Construction Co. would not comment on the accident, pending an investigation by authorities.

``We’re all affected pretty deeply,″ project manager Chuck Winstead told WXIA-TV. ``You don’t get over something like this quickly. Some of these guys might not come back for a while.″

Construction began on the 20,000-seat facility earlier this year. The $213 million arena is replacing the Omni, which was torn down to make way for the new facility. It is owned by Ted Turner, who owns the Hawks and the Thrashers in addition to the Atlanta Braves.

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