In the News
For second time in seven days, stadium bleachers collapse in Ohio, injuring students
Sept 11, 2013
What is going on with the structural integrity of bleachers in the state of Ohio?
For the second time in a span of one week, an Ohio bleacher collapsed under the weight of celebrating fans on Friday, sending a group of those aforementioned prep fans tumbling to their injury.
As reported by Columbus CBS affiliate WBNS and other outlets, this incident occurred at Columbus (Ohio) St. Charles Preparatory School, where St. Charles was facing off against Eastmoore (Ohio) Academy. The accident was allegedly caused by a group of celebrating teens who were jostling for position in front of a TV camera, which was panning for fan reactions while filming highlight footage. Five fans were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries.
Exactly seven days earlier, a stadium railing collapsed at a game in Cincinnati, leaving 12 spectators injured.
Naturally, there's no indication that there is any connection between the two stadium incidents, though the issues raise questions about the standards of stadium inspections at high school facilities in Ohio. Hopefully there won't be any further dangerous incidents to come.
Five hurt as bleachers collapse at Ohio high school football game
Sept 6, 2013
Five people were injured Friday night when a section of the bleachers collapsed at a high school football game in Columbus, Ohio, authorities said.
Four people were taken to hospitals with unspecified injuries and a fifth was treated at the scene at St. Charles Preparatory School, NBC station WCMH of Columbus reported.
None of the injuries was believed to be serious, and the game resumed after emergency crews finished their work.
St. Charles was playing Eastmoor Academy when a section of the bleachers fell down about 9 p.m. ET in an incident captured in video.
Police said they didn't yet know why the bleachers collapsed. St. Charles won, 48-8.
June 24, 2011
Yeah, this seems bad. I've sat on those bleachers, City of Tucson. I would have appreciated knowing that they're held together with zipties and duct tape: The bleachers at the Tucson Convention Center have been used for 27 years.
When the TCC needs more seats for a show or an event, the bleachers are set up to accommodate nearly 3,000 people.
They put close to the stage and near the floor. They may also put people in harm's way.
"It's safe today," says TCC Director Tommy Olbermeir.
But whether they're safe tomorrow, is another question.
"I'd say we're quickly approaching that point," he says.
Many of the railings around the bleacher sections are held together by duct tape.
Hand railings are secured by nylon, plastic ties. Many of them wobble as visitors hold on while slowly making their way down the stairs.
Mom of 2nd teen hurt in bleacher collapse sues
March 19, 2009
The mother of a second cheerleader who was injured last year in a bleacher collapse at Uniontown Area High School has filed a civil lawsuit in Fayette County against the district.
The cheerleader, 17-year-old Shaneque Terry Walker, suffered a broken leg and ankle when the gymnasium's bleachers collapsed Jan. 5, 2008, according to the lawsuit filed Friday by her mother, Terri Walker of Uniontown.
Shaneque Walker was 16 years old. She and other cheerleaders were practicing in the gymnasium when their coaches told them to push the bleachers into their storage position to create a practice area, according to the lawsuit.
As the group pushed the bleachers, they collapsed, pinning Walker under them. In addition to broken bones, the teenager suffered permanent nerve damage and scarring, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is the second to be filed in connection with the bleacher collapse. In January, the parents of another cheerleader, 15-year-old Taylor Wrona, filed a lawsuit against the school district.
Wrona's parents, David and Joy Wrona of Uniontown, said in their lawsuit that their daughter suffered a broken nose, broken teeth, a broken left ankle and right leg, facial scratches and permanent scarring when the bleachers collapsed.
The school district has not yet filed a response to the Wronas' lawsuit. Phone calls seeking comment on the Walkers' lawsuit from the district's superintendent, Dr. Charles Machesky, and its solicitor, Michael Brungo, were not returned yesterday.
At the time of the accident, Machesky told reporters that the cheerleaders did not realize that a safety latch had to be undone before the bleachers could be moved. As a result, the 50-year-old bleachers -- which had undergone a safety inspection two weeks before -- buckled.
Machesky last year reported that three cheerleaders and a custodian were hurt in the collapse.
In both lawsuits, the cheerleaders' parents contend the district should have known the bleachers posed a hazard. They are seeking damages for their children's pain and suffering, as well as for medical expenses.
Aug. 17, 2009
At the end of the St. Paul youth circus's final performance, half of the audience fell as the bleachers underneath them collapsed. About 450 people fell and seven were sent immediately to the hospital for their injuries.
The Circus Juventas performance took place under their Highland Park big top. The accident occurred around 10 p.m. Sunday night as the audience stood to applaud the finale and many members of the audience said they had plans to seek medical care on their own.
Ambulances took seven people to Regions and United hospitals, and a baby was taken to St. Paul Children's Hospitals and Clinics, said St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard. Rescuers used four of the city's 11 ambulances for the incident, Zaccard said.
Witnesses said several sections of bleachers -- each about eight rows deep -- collapsed sideways in a wave and caused people to fall on one another and pin one another to the ground.
The cause of the collapse is still unknown, but police are investigating
May 30, 2008,
Six students at Hillsboro’s West Union Elementary School were hurt Friday morning when the bleachers collapsed. 50 sixth-grade students were on the bleachers having their class picture taken when they gave way. The injuries the six students sustained were not life threatening. One student reportedly suffered a broken ankle. “It could have been quite a bit worse,” said Washington County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Thompson.
Thompson said that some of the support structures that are meant to hold up the bleachers were removed. It is not clear when that happened, but those cross ties were not removed by anyone in the school district, Thompson said.
by Michael Fickes
Every year, close to 20,000 men, women, and children fall out of bleachers and suffer injuries. Sometimes, a fall victim dies. Are your bleachers safe enough?
Here’s a scary thought: Experts in bleacher design and bleacher safety say that most facility directors responsible for bleachers probably don’t think much about bleacher safety issues — until someone has an accident.
That may be one reason why Googling “bleachers” on the Internet produces so many advertisements sponsored by personal injury attorneys.
In fact, research by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests that bleacher safety should probably command more attention from facility directors, especially those managing equipment that is more than 15 years old.
Read more Bleacher Safety
Gymnasium Accident Sends 4 To Hospital
January 5, 2008
Custodian, 3 Uniontown Cheerleaders Suffer Injuries
UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- Three high school cheerleaders and a custodian were rushed to a local hospital after an accident occurred inside the Uniontown High School gymnasium. The cheerleaders were trying to roll up the bleachers Saturday, which collapse into the wall. According to witnesses, something caused the bleachers to topple onto one of the girls.
"Apparently, somehow a mechanism that wasn't properly pulled, or suspected that it was on a bind, and the bleachers fell over, trapping one of the cheerleaders under the bleachers," Uniontown Fire Chief Myron Nypaver said.
A trainer at the school managed to get her out from under the bleachers. One girl suffered a broken leg and a broken nose. The custodian also suffered serious injuries.
The school superintendent said none of their injuries appears to be life-threatening.
Bleacher-Associated Deaths and Injuries
In 1999 two children died in falls from bleachers. In one case, a six year-old fell from the bleachers through a 13-inch opening between the footboard and seatboard. In another incident, a three year-old fell through an opening in the guardrail.
There were an estimated 22,100 bleacher related injuries in 1999. Approximately 6,100 of these injuries were the result of a person falling from, or through, bleachers onto the surface below. Approximately 4,910 of these falls involved children under 15 years old.
Between 1980 and 1999 an estimated annual average of 19,100 people were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for bleacher related injuries.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of ten deaths that involved falls from bleachers from 1980 to 1999. Of these deaths, four involved children under age 15.