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One Student Killed, Two Others Injured in Column Collapse on Campus

Tragedy Strikes at Local College

Lewis and Clark Campus will block off until issues can be addressed


A brick column fell inward causing it to collapse at Lewis & Clark College in Southwest Portland killing a 19 year old man student and injuring two 18 year old women. The name of the student who died and those who were injured has not been released. The college confirmed all three were students. Administrators said the families are requesting privacy,

Portland Fire & Rescue responded to the scene about 8:15 p.m. authorities said a total of six people were in three hammocks hanging from the column. “It wouldn’t matter what day it was, this was tragic,” said Terry Foster with Portland Fire & Rescue. "These kids are trying to adjust to college life, some of them for the first time, and it can be really challenging for them when they have this trauma."


Lewis and Clark College released a statement on their website the evening of the accident. "We are devastated to report that earlier this evening, a tragic accident occurred on the undergraduate campus in which one of our students was killed and two others were injured," the statement said.


According to Katu News Rendy Tesar said he walks by the campus every day. Tesar said on Monday the area was filled with excitement, but a bit more subdued on Tuesday.


"My thoughts are how awful it would be for those parents, to tell the parents. I mean the kid is obviously gone and so I don’t know. It’s just shocking. This is a real quiet area and the school is really quiet," he said.


Lois Davis, a spokesperson for Lewis & Clark, said it's unclear when or if the college faculty and trustees will address structural safety issues on campus or plan what to do about other unreinforced masonry around the private college. By the end of the week, several areas were marked off with caution tape, including similar structures with columns, to prevent students from accessing them.


The president of the college, Robin Holmes-Sullivan, sent a letter to the campus community on the following Tuesday. It stated grief counselors are working with students, faculty and staff. The president also said professors have been asked to "be flexible" about missed classes following the death.

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