THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1956
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
PAGE T EE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4,1955 THE MICHIGAN DAILY PAGE THREE
'IT SOUNDED LIKE A BIG .BOM1B'
Construction Disaster Came Suddenly
(Continued from Page 1
will be an investigation which will
undoubtedly determine the cause."
Workmen on the job, however,
took issue with Herlihy and angrily
blamed the disaster on faulty
materials and hurried construc-
George Berry, jr., a foreman on
the job, charged, "The forms were
removed from the concrete when
it was still wet, leaving 'green'
soft concrete pillars to support the.
entire fourth floor."
Berry also thought "unusual"
the use of 10 and % inches of
concrete around steel joices and
said it was "an excessive amountl
for that type of job."
Another construction 1 a b o r e r
condemned the "speed-up" of op-
erations, observing that "It is com-
mon masonry practice to wait at
least 28 days before pouring one
floor on top of another that is
Additional charges were made
4 by James Eley, a foreman injured
in the collapse. Eley, whose fath-
er, Gerald Eley, foreman of the
cement gang, was crushed to
death, revealed that two days be-
fore the tragedy his father had
"complained that work was going
too fast and the cement was not
ready for it."
Herlihy claimed "There was no
'speed-up' in this job; we were
never more than a week behind, if
that." But when asked how long
the company waited between
pouring floors, he said only "Ten
He intimated if the blame could
be laid to poor construction judge-
ment. "The architects, Black and
Black, Inc., must accept the re-
"We only, build to specifications!
and if they are at fault we are
not to blame," he said.
An executive of Zack Metal, a
subcontractor, disclosed, "Con-'
struction on the building had been
creeping for a year and one-half
because of the discovery of quick-
sand and the need of an unex-
pected large number of pilings."
The four dead are: Gerald Eley,
Roy Gardner, and Ray Claugherty
of Jackson, and William Bingham
of St. Joseph.
Known to be trapped in the hole
are: George Barry Sr., William
Rose, Gale Marble, Charles Am-
ann, Claude Banschus, and FJoyd
One hundred Jackson State
Prison inmates worked side by side
with State troopers and volunteers
from Civil Defense, the Army,
Navy and Marine National Guards,
Red Cross, five construction com-
panies, and men from five town-
ship departments to excavate the
collapsed area, ensure safety, and
feed those who would work a round
the clock vigil.
Herlihy and a group of engineers
had toured the structure only ten
minutes before the cave-in. He
noted that the inspection was
"routine" and that they had no-
ticed nothing wrong.
Final casualties from the dis-
aster will not be known until noon
today, officials estimated. Then
most of the rubble will have been
removed from the cluttered pit,
which caught four stories of steel
Donald Coppens, a foreman and
spokesman for Herlihy Co., capsu-
lized the tragedy, "It's one hell
of a catastrophe."
HAMILTON, Ont. UP)-Artist
Egbert Oudendag testified in
court he agreed to stay in Max
Kaye's funeral parlor while he
painted two portraits of thej
"Many nights I shared my
lodgings with one, sometimes
two corpses," Oudendag com-
Judge J. McKenna ordered
Kaye to pay. the $160 still due
on the portraits.
STARTS OCT. 28:
Travel Lecture Series
To Feature Color Films
For the third season a unique
film-lecture series will be present- The second program, Nov. 411,
ed by The World Travel and Ad- features Curtis Nagel, who will
venture Series of Ann Arbor. present a tour of Europe in "The
The 1956-57 season will include Beautiful Blue Danube."
an array of experts in the field Scandinavia will be the scene
of travel, each of whom will nar-
rate his own full length, color, of the December program. Russell
motion picture. Wright will show a visit to Den-
Admiral Donald B. MacMillan, mark for an intimate look into
noted for Arctic exploration, will the lives of the Danes.
open the series on Oct. 28 with his The series will be held in the
film presentation "Beyond the new Ann Arbor High School audi-
Northern Lights." torium.
--_ - _ --
VARSITY NIGH T
On sale until October 5 at 3519 Administra-
tion Building. Individual seats will be sold in
the Administration Building Lobby beginning
"THE HOLE"-Rescue workers struggle to remove rubble in the basement of the building. Buried
underneath the rubble was an undetermined number of construction workers. Limbs of some of the j
men were removed in order to rescue them from the hole alive. Michigan Daily photographer Vern
Soden took this shot from atop a section of floor which had not collapsed. Three Daily reporters and
Soden covered the catastrophe, bringing back on the spot stories and exclusive photographs.
Large Crowds Attracted To Scene
After Jackson Building Collapses I'
Tickets 75c, $1.00, $1.50
Gotchertickut? Getchertickut Now.!
By DONNA HANSON
"All persons around the east
tower stand clear," the loudspeak-
er blared to the many people mill-
ing around the half-collapsed Con-
sumer Power Office at Jackson.
Derricks swung their..long necks
carrying concrete rubble and
acetylene troches tore into the
bent steel beams in an attempt to
uncover and dislodge trapped
workers beneath the building's
At the scene of the collapse, Red
ABOVE: CRUMBLING WALL-Photo shows a section of one
wall of the building after its collapse, Visible portion of the wall
was on the north side.
BELOW: FOOD LINE-Emergency food lines were set up to aid
rescue workers. In the backgrojind are derricks used to remove
rubble and wall sections.
Cross volunteers circulated among
the crew workers, civil defense
men, police, marine and naval re-
servists and national guard pass-
ing out sandwiches, coffee and
"Boy, this ain't no laughing
matter," remarked a dust-streaked
worker who had emerged for a
moment from the wreckage hole,
ominously labeled "the pit" by the
As darkness set in, light bulbs
and flood lights were focused on
the stark shell of a building to1
facilitate later work in locating
"There will be a ten minute
period of complete silence so if
anyone is still alive, they can
shout their locations," the loud-
At "zero hour", 9:45 p.m. the
noisy hubbub of machines and
voices stopped sharply and almost
complete silence reigned. The
voice of Father Dodsman reciting
"The Lord's Prayer" was carried
by the loudspeaker to all parts of
Then, no one spoke.
People just sat or stood with
their eyes centered on the shell of
the half-standing building and
waited expectantly. At 9:55 the
machines again swung into action
and people began talking.
The son and daughter-in-law of
one of the trapped workers pre-
sumed alive had stood together
during the brief interval of silence
and then looked resignedly at each
No sound had been heard.
VARSITY NIGHT, OCT.13
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