Tuesday 27 September 2016

Students hurt in stage collapse

Published 24/04/2015 | 06:51

Captain Charles Hollowell, left, of Westfield Police Department, said the students were hurt after the stage gave way at Westfield High School. (AP)
Captain Charles Hollowell, left, of Westfield Police Department, said the students were hurt after the stage gave way at Westfield High School. (AP)

More than a dozen students are said to be "doing really well" after they were injured when a stage at a US high school collapsed during a musical performance.

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Police Captain Charles Hollowell said the students suffered minor injuries in the accident in central Indiana.

Westfield Washington School superintendent Mark Keen said Westfield High School is gathering records related to the stage for investigators.

Mr Keen said officials planned to come to classes to work with students as they arrive for school. He added that it appears a cover placed over the orchestra pit for some productions had given way, causing the collapse.

Authorities said students were on the stage during the grand finale of the American Pie concert when the stage floor collapsed into the orchestra pit below.

Video filmed by a member the audience shows more than a dozen students dancing and clapping on stage while a female student sings along to Journey's Don't Stop Believin'.

Most students then suddenly plummet out of sight, the music cuts off and screams are heard.

Blake Rice, an 18-year-old senior at the school, about 20 miles north of Indianapolis, said he was playing guitar in the performance, a tribute to 80s music.

As the last song began, he said he took a step back to allow more students on to the stage. He saw the stage collapse but did not fall through.

"At first, it didn't seem real. It didn't really register with me what happened," he said.

Mr Rice said people in the audience immediately ran toward the stage and began pulling debris off students, and auditorium staff pulled people out of the pit.

"I realised how lucky I was. Another three seconds and that could have been me."

Press Association

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