OAKLAND PARK, Fla. – Students and staff were evacuated from James S. Rickards Middle School on Friday morning after the roof partially collapsed in the media center, which is under construction and had no one inside.
The incident took place around noon. 10 in the morning
Oakland Park spokeswoman Shannon Vezina confirmed there was a water leak at the school at 6000 NE Ninth Ave., resulting in the partial roof collapse, which left extensive damage.
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Broward County Public Schools confirmed no one was inside the media center when the incident occurred, but Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela was later told that 13 students and staff were checked out on campus by first responders, five of whom were taken to hospitals .
The injuries are said to be minor and not directly related to the collapse of the roof, but rather to experience symptoms such as headaches and nausea.
Authorities said the school principal heard two loud bangs before discovering the roof had partially collapsed.
“Before 10 a.m. this morning, the principal was in his office when he heard a noise, which was followed by a subsequent noise,” said Keyla Concepcion of Broward County Public Schools.
The media center has been under construction as part of an ongoing project since the middle of last year.
Firefighters searched the building to make sure no one was trapped.
“We also brought a dog in to search the entire school to make sure no one was in there, and also a drone to check and make sure no one on the roof was possibly injured during the crash,” he said. chef Steve Krivjanik. from the Oakland Park Fire Department.
Local 10 News spoke to parents who rushed out to pick up their children.
“I panicked,” said one. “I literally got right out of the shower and put on some clothes and came right here.”
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