Formal investigation into stage collapse begins

According to the Westfield High School website, students were performing the musical “American Pie” at the school auditorium Thursday night. (Photo/Sara Camden)

WESTFIELD, Ind. (AP) – Indiana’s workplace safety agency says it will investigate a stage collapse at a suburban Indianapolis high school after determining that employees were involved in setting up the stage.

Indiana Department of Labor spokeswoman Amanda Stanley tells WISH-TV the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a formal investigation Monday into the cause of last week’s stage collapse at Westfield High School.

The collapse during the finale of a musical on Thursday sent 16 students plunging into the orchestra pit. None of the injuries were serious.

The department initially said it lacked jurisdiction to investigate because no employees were involved. But it reversed that stance Monday based on new information that employees helped erect the stage.

Stanley says the investigation will determine whether any regulations were violated.

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