Sunday, March 9, 2014
ANAHEIM, California (AP) — A stage at a Southern California high school collapsed during a performance, sending 25 students to the hospital with mainly minor injuries, authorities said.
Police, firefighters and medics responded to a call Saturday night after the wooden stage gave way at Servite High School, an all-boys Catholic school in Anaheim.
Students from nearby Rosary High School, an all-girls sister school, were dancing when the stage buckled. Injuries included broken bones, bruises and scrapes.
The likely cause "at this point looks like too many students and too much weight on the platform stage," Anaheim police Lt. Tim Schmidt told City News Service on Sunday.
Investigators will double-check the school's stage permit to determine if it included a weight restriction or a limit on the number of people who could be on stage, Schmidt said.
About 500 students and parents were in the auditorium at the time of the collapse.
The students were performing in "Red and Gold," Rosary High's annual musical theater challenge since 1971, in which teams prepare for six weeks to put on choral, dance, drama and other performances, according to the school's website.
"Thank you for your prayers and support during this time," Rosary Principal Judy Luttrell said in a statement posted on the school's website after the collapse. "We ask that you continue to pray for our students. We thank you all, the Servite community, and the responders for their calm assistance."
Servite High School was founded in 1958. Its sister school, Rosary, opened in 1965.