May 8, 2009

City probed for Cowboys facility collapse

The Texas Board of Professional Engineers said the city of Irving is under investigation for issues related to the collapsed Dallas Cowboys practice facility.

Board spokesman Lance Kinney declined to comment on the scope of the investigation, which comes after city officials said they have no record of the engineer who signed off on the design of the facility, and the building's blueprints and specifications are not on file, The Dallas Morning News reported Friday.

The facility collapsed due to high winds May 3, leaving Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm permanently paralyzed from the waist down and 11 others injured.

Under Texas state law, officials enforcing engineering-related laws are not allowed to accept planning documents unless they bear the seal of an engineer. State officials said the city is required to keep the building's blueprints and specifications on file for as long as the structure stands.

The board said its investigators were also looking into whether legal action is appropriate against Summit Structures, the company that built the facility. The company did not have the required state license when the Cowboys practice building was designed and erected in 2003, the report said.