ANAHEIM (CNS) - The Diocese of Orange will conduct an internal investigation into the collapse of the wooden stage at Servite High School in Anaheim in addition to the probe conducted by the city's Fire Marshall, Rosary High School officials said today.
The preliminary indications from police was that too much weight was likely the reason a wooden stage collapsed at Servite High School just before 10 p.m. Saturday, which caused moderate injuries to at least 25 students.
An estimated 250 girls from Rosary High were on the wooden stage at Servite High in Anaheim when it gave way. The most serious injuries appeared to be broken bones and cuts, firefighters said.
It happened as the girls performed Rosary High's annual Red and Gold Rally in the theater at the boy's high school at 1952 West La Palma Ave., said Lt. Tim Schmidt, Anaheim's public safety spokesman.
``Jeff Lutz, our city's Fire Marshal, is taking the lead in investigating what caused the collapse, which at this point looks like too many students and too much weight on the platform stage,'' Anaheim police Lt. Tim Schmidt told City News Service. Schmidt is also the city's public safety spokesman and handles both police and fire department issues.
“The Fire Marshal's office will be assisted by our city's Planning and Building Department in this inquiry,'' he added.
Schmidt also said the private high school's platform stage was previously permitted for use, but now the investigating agencies will be rechecking that permit to see if it included a weight restriction or a limit as to the number of people who could safely be on the stage at one time.
An internal investigation was also underway, according to a statement by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange posted on the Rosary High School website.
Rosary is an all-girls Catholic high school in Fullerton founded in 1965. It utilizes the theater of the all-boys Servite High School for its annual Red and Gold event, according to Rosary's website.
Rosary High students and their families gathered for prayers at Rosary's Assembly Hall at 3:30 p.m. Sunday after families picked up personal items left behind at Servite and went back to the girls' school.
Video shot by parents, first obtained by the Orange County Register, showed that the stage was packed with teenagers from Rosary High School in Fullerton who were swaying in unison. When they began to jump up and down in time with the music, the stage collapsed and the 25 girls or so in front dipped out of sight.
``Twenty-five students were transported to area hospitals with moderate injuries,'' Schmidt said. Those injuries included broken bones, scrapes and bruises.