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A&M Supporters Plan Bonfire

November 10, 2002|From Associated Press

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The sounds of buzzing chain saws and toppling trees filled a nearby forest Saturday as Texas A&M students and alumni worked to revive their bonfire tradition, on hold since a deadly collapse in 1999.

Wearing colored hard hats signifying leadership positions and wielding axes and machetes, the volunteers searched the woods east of College Station for dead elm trees to cut down and eventually burn.

They plan to light a 10- to 15-foot-high, off-campus bonfire Nov. 24.

University officials are discouraging the effort to resume the 90-year-old A&M tradition, on hold since a 59-foot-high bonfire collapsed while under construction in 1999, killing 12 people and injuring 27 others.

"Our concerns primarily are one of safety -- safety for our students and for anyone else who might be involved. No university representation will be authorized for any such activity," A&M spokesman Lane Stephenson said.

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