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Student: Being late kept bus safe from collapse

Awning collapse injures students

More than a dozen people were injured Saturday after a truck hit a concrete canopy at North Iredell High, causing it to collapse.
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More than a dozen people were injured Saturday after a truck hit a concrete canopy at North Iredell High, causing it to collapse.

More than two dozen students are recovering after an awning collapsed at North Iredell High School on Saturday afternoon, sending concrete onto people headed into the school for a band competition.

On Saturday afternoon, a truck struck a support beam at the main entrance of the school, officials said. Several of the injured were trapped by the falling concrete and had to be freed by rescue crews or chaperones.

Sinjun Chapman said he and his bandmates from Lake Norman High might have been among the injured if they had not been running late because some of the band members had just taken the SATs.

Sinjun and the other students from Lake Norman High School were on a bus when the accident occurred. The students did not hear or see the collapse, but they saw people screaming and running.

“The adults were telling us to stay on the bus and stay calm, Chapman said. “A lot of the band dads that came, they rushed over to lift the cement off the kids. We were just stuck on the bus; we could barely see what happened. We were all freaked out. We were crying and hugging.”

Twenty-five people were taken to the hospital. Their names and conditions had not been released Sunday. The injured were all from South Iredell High in Troutman. On Sunday, crews used a forklift to load sections of metal and concrete into dump trucks outside the school.

On Saturday, North Iredell High was hosting the Foothills Invitational Marching Band Competition, which brought thousands of students, teachers and chaperones from more than 30 schools.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

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