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Superintendent: School ‘very lucky’ after stage collapse

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – Classes resumed on Friday while investigators began looking into the Westfield High School stage collapse, hoping to bring clarity to the incident.

A stage collapsed in the Westfield High School auditorium on Thursday night, leaving 16 students with minor injures and witnesses shocked.

The students were performing “American Pie, the musical” and were dancing on stage during the final musical number, when the stage collapsed over the orchestra pit.

Westfield Superintendent Mark Keen spoke to the media on Friday after the school day was over.

Keen said it was “only by the grace of God” that people were not more seriously injured.

“We were very lucky,” added Keen.

He said the stage cover helped break the 12 foot fall for students on the stage.

“I was up really high up in the stands and then all of the sudden they were all just having a great time and then boom just the stage went out and everyone went down and it was just crazy it was chaotic and everything,” said Cameron Snyder, a senior at Westfield High School.

Investigators and forensic engineering are looking at the structure of the stage for the cause of the collapse, and are collecting inspection records. Keen was hopeful that investigators would have a timeline within two weeks for when the investigation might end. 

“We are doing everything we can to keep kids safe. We have a high focus on students and counselors are at the high school all the time. The teachers wanted to make sure kids had a positive experience today (in class) and today was a typical day,” said Keen.

Keen stated that until the police release the area in the auditorium it will be restricted to students, but that it will not interfere with any other part of the high school.