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Falling Beam Kills Construction Worker At Northwestern University

(File photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(File photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — An autopsy was scheduled for Friday on a 57-year-old construction worker from Indiana, who died in an accident on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University.

A 70-pound, 16-foot-long wooden beam crashed to the ground, striking the worker and causing fatal head and chest injuries, at 7:15 a.m. Thursday, minutes after construction resumed for the day on Northwestern’s new Music and Communication Building.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said the beam was unsecured atop the building, being built at the southeast corner of the Evanston campus.

If the autopsy finds that the death is accidental, as expected, police would hand over the case to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors, who have already begun interviewing witnesses, workers and contractors.

The investigation could take up to six months to complete. It was unclear how long work on the site will be shut down. The building is scheduled for completion in early 2015.