Six injured after structure collapse at Bryant University

Mangled steel is left where crews were building an indoor practice facility on the campus of Bryant University. Credit: John Villella/WPRI 12

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Police and fire departments in Smithfield and surrounding towns have responded to an emergency situation at Bryant University. A call was placed around 8:15 a.m. for a steel structure collapse.

Gallery: Structure collapse at Bryant University

Construction had just started for the day when something happened, causing steel to fall over.

Mangled steel is left where crews were building an indoor practice facility on the campus of Bryant University. Credit: John Villella/WPRI 12
Mangled steel is left where crews were building an indoor practice facility on the campus of Bryant University.
Credit: John Villella/WPRI 12

Six people were transported to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police said the victims fell about 30 feet and were underneath the structure when rescue crews arrived.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, Bryant University Spokeswoman Liz O’Neil said the practice facility is one of several projects currently underway on campus.

She said when complete, the facility will be 120 yards of covered turf field. Sports that will eventually use the facility include lacrosse, and field hockey, as well as club and intramural sports.

O’Neil said crews broke ground in May and the building was scheduled to be completed in January 2016.

O’Neil also said AZ Corporation was overseeing the project.

She initially named a different construction company in the Tuesday morning news conference. However, she provided clarification after the Boston-based company told Eyewitness News it was not managing the site in question.

During the news conference, O’Neil said Bryant plants to move forward with the project, pending the findings of an investigation into the incident.

Classes are not yet in session at Bryant University, but are scheduled to begin on September 8.

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