Newspaper: Destroyed Oklahoma schools poorly built

Plaza Towers Elementary
Plaza Towers Elementary (KFOR TV, Oklahoma City)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two engineering groups say elementary schools that collapsed during a tornado at Moore last year were poorly designed and could have offered more protection if they had been properly reinforced.

The Journal Record newspaper of Oklahoma City reported Friday that the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineering Institute have prepared a report finding fault with construction techniques. The report is due out in the spring.

Seven children died when the Plaza Towers Elementary School fell last May 20; two dozen people were hurt at nearby Briarwood Elementary.

Chris Ramseyer, who provided the report to the newspaper, said if the schools had been built correctly, lives could have been saved. The schools were built 20 years apart but Ramseyer said they appeared built in a similar way.

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