Concrete awning collapses, injuring band students

Students at a high school marching band competition in North Carolina were injured this afternoon when a concrete awning collapsed on top of them, the Associated Press is reporting.

Video feed from WBTV, Charlotte

Students were attending the fifth annual Foothills Invitational Marching Band Competition at North Iredell High School in Olin, North Carolina, when a Ryder rental truck hit one of the supports for a concrete canopy, which then fell and hit the students who were underneath it.

Dr Howard Mell, the Iredell County medical director, told the AP that 25 students were injured in the accident about 55 miles north of Charlotte.

Three students suffered what were described as potentially life-threatening injuries, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer. A total of 16 students were transported to local hospitals, including the three with potentially life-threatening injuries. One student was further transferred to a level 1 trauma center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

The promo for the invitational marching band competition (from the school’s Facebook page)

As a result of the accident, the marching band competition was canceled in order to allow emergency personnel to fix the damaged structure.

Earlier in the week, school officials made the decision to move the competition indoors, given the threat of Hurricane Joaquin. But the hurricane, it seems, won’t make landfall in the US, and festival directors wrote on Thursday that the festival would go on as planned, just not outdoors, “because ain’t no hurricane gonna push the band around!”

And the contest was sailing along smoothly in the North Carolina foothills—until this happened at about 2:15 PM.

All the injured students attend South Iredell High School; they were scheduled to begin their warm-up at 2:50 and perform at 3:30 in Class 3A, a classification based on a band size of 63–75 wind players. In addition to South Iredell and North Iredell, which was scheduled to perform at 8:10 PM in exhibition, the following schools were expected to appear:

  1. Statesville
  2. Lake Norman
  3. Bunker Hill
  4. South Rowan
  5. East Surry

  1. South Davidson
  2. West Iredell
  3. Bandys
  4. West Stanley
  5. West Rowan

  1. AL Brown
  2. Hickory
  3. Newton-Conover
  4. North Surry
  5. Ronald Reagan

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more biographical information, see the About page.