(04/22/2002)
A monument erected to the memory of 51 men killed in the collapse of a scaffold at the Willow Island cooling tower, will be dedicated this Friday.

A 15-year-old Pleasants County youth, Anthony Lauer, raised $50,000 for the monument which stands on a hill near the plant in Pleasants County. Young Lauer will be among the speakers at the 1 p.m. ceremony.

Lauer had nine members of his family killed in the tragedy.

On the morning on April 27, 1978, scaffolding collapsed at a Monongahela Power Company station at Willow Island, northeast of Parkersburg. The scaffolding was being used to pour concrete for a cooling tower that was under construction. Forty-five workers fell to their deaths, six more were crushed on the ground.

The investigation of the New Jersey construction company which built the cooling tower revealed that the poured cement had not set properly, causing the scaffolding to give way.


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