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OLYMPIC REPORT / 38 DAYS TO THE GAMES : MISCELLANY

Stadium Engineer Loses License

June 11, 1996|Associated Press

The state of Georgia suspended the license of an engineer who designed the Olympic Stadium light towers, one of which collapsed and killed a construction worker last year.

Brian Miraki, who discovered a flaw in the design 12 days before the fatal accident in March of 1995, but did not recommend emergency action to correct it, was suspended for three years, to be followed by three year's probation.

The action by the state licensing board for engineers is the first stemming from the accident that killed iron worker Jack Falls and injured a co-worker.

A federal investigation last year blamed the accident on an engineering error, but the Occupational Health and Safety Administration was unable to impose any penalties because Falls was not employed by the company at fault.

The OSHA investigation found that the light towers at the 85,000-seat stadium were designed to support only one-quarter of their intended weight.

According to a consent order from the licensing board, dated June 4 but released Monday, Miraki discovered on March 8, 1995, that the towers were "over-stressed to the point of failure."

Falls fell to his death on March 20, 1995, when a lighting truss collapsed under him.

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Thomas Strzalkowski of State College, Pa., earned the final spot on the U.S. Olympic fencing team, joining Peter Cox Jr. of Overland Park, Kan., and Peter Westbrook of New York City.

Strzalkowski made the team when Adam Skarbonkiewicz eliminated contender Michael D'Asaro, 15-13, in the gold medal sabre match of the U.S. Fencing Association's championship tournament at Cincinnati. Skarbonkiewicz cannot qualify because he is not an American citizen.

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