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Archive for Sunday, March 25, 2001

National briefs

March 25, 2001

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Pennsylvania

Penn State crowd turns rowdy after loss

Several thousand people hurled firecrackers, cans and bottles and tried to tear down lampposts following Penn State's loss to Temple in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Twenty people, 14 of them students, were arrested early Saturday on public drunkenness and other charges following their team's 84-72 loss in Atlanta, police said.

People began throwing bottles from buildings shortly after midnight in State College, and the crowd grew to about 4,000, police estimated.

Officers used pepper spray to try to disperse the crowd. Three injuries were reported, including two officers hit on the head by beer bottles. It took officers a few hours to disperse the groups trying to topple the light poles.

All of those arrested were freed Saturday on bail ranging from $1,000 to $11,000.

LOS ANGELES

Oscar scaffolding collapse investigated

Safety investigators were working Saturday to learn the cause of a scaffolding collapse that injured five workers during preparations for today's Academy Awards show.

"One of the things we will be taking a look at is the engineering, to see if there were any problems with how it was assembled," said Dean Fryer, a spokesman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Whether the workers' training was adequate also will be investigated.

Safety investigators inspected other temporary structures at the site and declared them safe, Fryer said. Workers on Saturday assembled new scaffolding with a different design.

When the scaffolding collapsed Thursday, five workers were injured. Two fell from the top of the structure, which was 40 feet wide, 120 feet long and 20 feet tall.

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