Roof collapses at Florida middle school; more than 10 people injured

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. — A roof collapsed at a South Florida middle school on Friday, injuring at least 10 people and leaving metal and concrete on the ground, authorities said.

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Students and staff members were evacuated from James S. Rickards Middle School in Oakland Park after the roof collapsed at the school’s media center, the Sun-Sentinel reported. No one was in the media center when it collapsed, the newspaper reported. The media center was under construction, according to Broward County School District spokesperson Keyla Concepcion.

Oakland Park spokeswoman Shannon Vezina confirmed to WPLG that a water leak at the school caused the partial collapse of the roof and extensive damage.

There were 184 students and 55 staff members at the school when the roof collapsed, the television station reported.

“It’s a good thing they were working on the media center and no one was in there. It could have been a lot worse if people had been in there,” sixth grader Rielly Atilus told the Sun-Sentinel. “They could have gotten hurt or killed.”

More than 10 people -- students and adults -- were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, Steve Gollan, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue, told the newspaper.

“Several students and adults had minor medical complaints, including headaches, anxiety and issues related to asthma,” the Broward County School District said in a statement. “They were treated by fire rescue and transported as a precaution to area hospitals.”

Fire rescue officials searched the building to make sure nobody was trapped in the rubble, WPLG reported.

“We also brought a dog in to search the entire school to make sure no one was in there, and also a drone to check and make sure there no one in the roof that may have gotten hurt during the collapse,” Chief Steve Krivjanik, of the Oakland Park Fire Department, told the television station.

The school’s students and staff were moved to Northeast High School, where parents could pick them up, WFOR reported.


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