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Three Die in N.C. Wall Collapse

August 5, 2002

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) _ An 80,000-pound section of a concrete wall fell on a group of construction workers as they ate lunch Monday, killing three of them.

Fire Battalion Chief Douglas said the wall toppled when another crew had removed temporary braces from the 35-by-20-foot section, unaware the wall had not been permanently secured to the roof.

``I think someone just got ahead of themselves,″ he said.

The accident happened at the site of a 110-000-square-foot Home Depot store under construction.

Nine people had been sitting in shade along the wall eating lunch when the accident occurred. One worker suffered a minor head wound. Douglas said three of the workers who earlier were unaccounted for had left the scene without telling their supervisors.

``One witness said he was leaning against the wall and he felt it begin to move,″ Douglas said. ``He dove to the left and the wall fell.″

Two bodies were removed after the accident, but the third was trapped under the wall for hours until a crane was brought in and raised the concrete section.

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