9 released from hospital after press box partially collapses

Nine people injured in a partial collapse of the press box at Wayne County High School have been released from the hospital and are recovering at home.
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 12:23 PM EDT
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WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The press box at the Wayne High School Softball field partially collapsed Saturday afternoon, sending multiple people to the hospital, according to Wayne County Schools Superintendent Todd Alexander.

Two students were transported by helicopter, three adults by ambulance, and four other students by their parents to receive medical attention, Alexander said.

“To see medical services and a helicopter flown on the football field ... it shakes you,” Wayne Superintendent Todd Alexander said.

Press box partially collapses sending multiple to the hospital

On Monday, he announced all nine injured were released from the hospital and are recovering at home. No life-threatening injuries were reported.

Wayne Middle School Coach Michael Copley released this statement:

“...I was concerned for my own daughter, but I’ve been with some of these girls since tee-ball. So it was a father’s concern times 14. Keep replaying what could have happened and be thankful that it wasn’t any worse.”

Copley praised the help from the administration from the middle and high school along with the work of emergency services.

Alexander said four students and an adult were inside when the partial collapse happened.

The wood used to construct the press box was stamped in 2012, leading school officials to believe it was constructed then.

“When you have athletic facilities, some are built by the district, and some are built by booster groups that come in ... I’m not sure who constructed that facility, but we do know it was put in 2012,” Alexander said.

An on-site inspection of the press box was done on Sunday, according to Alexander.

“There was a header that supported the floor joist supporting the entire floor. That header failed, and it brought the floor down with it,” Alexander said. “We have inspections that are done every year. We’re obligated to inspections on bleachers and things like that.”

An inspection report shows the property was inspected last spring.

Alexander said there was no indication of aging infrastructure in the inspection report.

The district plans to bring in inspectors to reevaluate all auxiliary buildings on school property.

All remaining games were moved to another facility for safety reasons.

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