The Dramatic Moment High School Stage Collapses, Injuring Students

A number of students were injured.

ByDan Good and Rachel Katz
April 24, 2015, 6:11 AM

— -- A high school auditorium stage in Indiana collapsed during a student performance Thursday, injuring more than 12 students, police said.

The accident happened at Westfield High School, located about 20 miles north of Indianapolis. The students were performing the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’” for a show "American Pie" at the time of the accident.

Nicole Gruszka was singing at the edge of the stage when the collapse happened. Hours later, she remained shocked by what happened behind her.

“The microphone wasn’t out of my hand until half an hour later because I was in shock, basically,” Gruszka said. “We thought that the worst that could happen would be that someone would miss their cue.”

Student Sam Greathouse was sitting near the front of the auditorium. “As soon as the stage went down, I just hopped up and started pulling people out of that hole,” he told ABC News.

Westfield Police Department Captain Charles Hollowell, speaking at a briefing, said none of the injuries were life-threatening. It was initially reported that one student was in critical condition, but authorities later said that all injuries were minor in nature.

Chris Baldwin, Westfield Washington Schools executive director of human resources, said about 75 students were involved in the school production, and that the collapse happened during the close of the show.

Westfield Mayor Andy Cook said when he heard of the accident, it made him think about a 2011 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in which seven people died.

"The word 'stage collapse,' you know, here in Indiana has a special connotation to it, so, yes, I was very, very concerned when I saw that word on our dispatch,” Cook said.

The school will be open today, and the incident is under investigation, officials said.

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