Three persons were hospitalized and eight suffered minor injuries yesterday when roof supports of a building under construction at Washington Bible College in Lanhan collapse and fell 60 feet to the ground, striking workers and bystanders.
Police said the accident occured about 10:30 a.m. as workmen were setting roof supports, or joists, in place at the top of the two-story structure, a $500,000 graduate study center scheduled for completion in January. One of the joists slipped and struck another joist, police said, setting off a chain reaction of collisions that caused trusses, as well as pieces of brick and concrete blocks, to fall to the ground.
Police said five workers on the roof and six persons below were injured. Only 15 persons were on the site at the time, a school spokesman said.
One mason working on a lower level of the building, Harold Walker, 56, of 4312 Fairway View Ter., Upper Marlboro, was admitted to Doctor's Hospital of Prince George's County for observation, a hospital spokesman said.
In addition, two bystanders, James Schwarm Jr., 69, of 9217 Rolling View Dr., New Carrollton, and James R. Fincham, 40, of 4804 70th Pl., Landover Hills, were admitted to Doctor's with chest and spinal injuries, police said.
A hospital spokesman said Schwarm was listed in satisfactory condition with a broken pelvis, and Fincham was in guarded condition aftersurgery.
The building, which was intended to house the Capital Bible Seminary of Washington Bible College, has been under construction since May, school spokesman Bob Evans said.
Evans said the building was being constructed largely by school employees, with some work contracted to a bricklaying company.
Officials estimated that about $15,000 to $20,000 damage was caused by the accident, and that completion of the building would be delayed about a month, Evans said.
However, Evans said no negligence has been found in the accident. He said construction would be resumed Monday. CAPTION:
Picture, Richard Fincham Jr., right, is helped from the scene of the collapse while his father, Richard Fincham Sr., is being carried on the stretcher in the background, By Larry Morris - The Washington Post