Ozark Stage Collapses

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

It was just after curtain call for some local high school theatre students when the stage they were performing on suddenly collapsed, taking at least a dozen students down with it.

The stage right portion of the floor at the Flowers Center caved in Tuesday night unexpectedly, as Carroll High was getting ready to wrap up its final dress rehearsal.

At least 10 kids are now in recovery.

Anyone wanting to go "Back to the 80's" will now have to wait.

Carroll High School was set to perform its 25th annual spring musical this week, until the performance stage collapsed taking down a dozen students with it.

According to eyewitnesses, the students were finishing the curtain call, when almost a quarter of the floor caved in, dropping everyone on it down about eight feet.

"Everybody just stood there for a minute because nobody could believe what was happening. Then, all of the sudden it was mass confusion. Everybody was running up to the stage and I heard everyone yelling, 'get off the stage. Get off the stage.' I'm thinking my child's in there. I have two girls under there," says Belynda Brandt, parent of an injured student.

School leaders have prevented anyone from going inside the building, but police say they are not suspecting any foul play to be involved.

"It's not anything that the students contributed at all, as far as jumping up and down or anything unusual. I think the stage just gave way," says Deputy Chief Myron Williams, Ozark Police Department.

"No one could've predicted this. It's been in use for many, many years and it's been very sturdy. I don't blame the school at all. It's just one of those things that happened," says Brandt.

Fortunately, no one was severely hurt in the fall.

Only two sprained ankles and one minor concussion were reported beyond the typical scraps, bruises and soreness.

Why the stage collapsed hasn't been determined.

However, city school leaders do expect to rebuild the stage, but this year's performance may have to find a temporary home.

Either way, the show will go on.

Ozark City School Superintendent, Doctor Dan Payant says an engineering firm has been hired to determine the cause.

They will design a plan to rebuild the stage.

School leaders have not yet determined when the play will be performed.

If you have already bought tickets, school leaders say they will be honored.

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