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Texas A&M Bonfire Accident Kills 4

November 18, 1999

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) _ A large stack of logs assembled for Texas A&M pregame bonfire collapsed early today, killing at least four people and injuring 25.

Dozens of Texas A&M University students were on top of the logs when the accident happened early this morning, according to university officials.

Twenty-five students were taken to hospitals, university President Ray Bowen told CNN. He said four people died.

At St. Joseph Regional Health Center, spokesman Bill Hyer said there were reports that more students were still trapped in the structure’s rubble, but he declined to release further details.

Officials were performing head counts at the university’s residence halls in an effort to account for everybody who may have been working on the structure.

A bonfire is built each year by A&M students to show their burning desire to beat archrival University of Texas in football. The tradition goes back 90 years. Students who build the bonfire get safety training in advance, Bowen said.

The accident was the third disaster related to Texas A&M this fall.

On Sept. 18, five people were killed in the crash of a plane used by the Ags Over Texas skydiving club, often used by Texas A&M University students and alumni. The school’s teams are called the Aggies.

On Oct. 10, six college students walking to a fraternity party about two miles west of the campus were killed by a pickup truck driver who had fallen asleep, police said. The victims were four students from Baylor University, one from Texas A&M and one from Southwest Texas State.

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