Administrators field questions regarding partial stage collapse at Westfield High School 


By: Anna Skinner

Westfield police and fire personnel are collaborating with Mayor Andy Cook and Supt. Mark Keen to provide comfort and reassurance to the community after the covering of the orchestra pit gave way last night during the “American Pie” production. Multiple students were taken to the hospital, only one’s condition was classified as “critical.”

According to Zach Burton, City of Westfield’s communications specialist, that student’s condition has been upgraded.

“The good news seems to be that most injuries are fairly minor, and most students are now back home,” Burton said.

Westfield Police Department Captain Charles Hollowell with Cook and Keen held a press conference at Asa Bales Park 6 a.m. April 24 to field any questions about the students’ conditions and the investigation of the collapse.

“This incident happened a few hours ago, we are still at the initial parts of our investigation,” Hollowell said. “The Westfield Police Department is the lead investigator and our investigators are being assisted by the Indiana State Police. We want to have a way to make sure we come out and do a formal investigation and start from the ground up.”

Keen said they are in the process of pulling all stage records together to assist with the investigation.
“We need to make sure we keep the kids and their families in mind and make sure our prayers and thoughts are with them,” Keen said. “The teachers and students will work through this.”

Cook and Dr. Stacey McGuire, WHS principal, visited the hospitals where students were taken late April 23. Cook said the students are ready to get back to school.

Cook arrived at the scene shortly after hearing the dispatch. “I found the scene very well under control by Westfield police and fire,” he said.

Luckily, administrators at the event were easily able to control and calm the approximate 1,000 attendants during the collapse.

More updates soon to follow.

To view the press conference from the morning of April 24, visit the Westfield Police Department Facebook page.

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