Student killed after column collapses at Lewis & Clark College


A 19-year-old student at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, was killed and two others were injured after a column collapsed Monday, hours after the start of a new semester, officials said.

Crews were called to the campus just after 8:15 p.m. local time (11:15 p.m. ET) after getting reports of multiple people injured after a brick column that collapsed, according to the Portland Fire & Rescue Bureau.

Witnesses had reported that at least six people had been in three hammocks when the masonry column fell toward students, the bureau said.

No one was reported to be trapped under the column, but fire officials said “callers reported that one person was seriously injured, and people were performing CPR on him.”

When first responders arrived, they confirmed that a 19-year-old man had died at the scene, while two 18-year-old women were injured. One of the women sustained injuries to one arm, while the other suffered abdominal injuries. Both were transported to a local hospital.

The fire department noted that accessing the scene had been challenging due to the size of the college campus.

It said the scene was turned back over to Lewis & Clark College just before 11 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET Tuesday), adding that “they will be the lead on this moving forward.”

It was not immediately clear what caused the column to fall.

In a statement, Lewis & Clark College said it was “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 school said it was working to contact the students’ families and would provide more information as it becomes available.

“We are deeply saddened by the shocking loss of a member of our community,” it said.

According to the Lewis & Clark College schedule, Monday was the first day of the fall semester. 

In a Twitter post last week, the school said it had just completed another “first-year move in day” on Wednesday ahead of the new semester.