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Excessive weight probed in stage collapse that injured 24 students

Roman Catholicism

Authorities were trying to determine whether excessive weight was to blame for the collapse of a stage during a performance at Servite High School in Anaheim on Saturday night, injuring about two dozen students.

About 250 girls from Rosary High School, Servite's sister Catholic school, were on the stage when it collapsed, Anaheim Police Department spokesman Lt. Tim Schmidt told The Times.

"Early investigations suggest the front of the stage gave out due to weight," Schmidt said. The Anaheim Fire Department was on the scene soon after the incident, trying to determine the cause of the collapse.

Schmidt told the Orange County Register they were checking to see if the permit for the stage included a weight limit.

Officials said most of the injuries were "minor to moderate," though some students suffered broken bones.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the students and their families," Servite High School said in a statement Sunday.

A total of 300 to 400 students and parents were in the auditorium at the time of the collapse, officials said.

The students were performing in "Red and Gold," Rosary High's annual musical theater challenge, in which teams prepare for six weeks to put on choral, dance, drama and other performances, according to the school's website.

Servite High School is an all-boys Catholic School in Anaheim. Rosary is an all-girls school in Fullerton.

[For the Record, 4:28 p.m. PDT March 9: An earlier version of this post said Orange County fire investigators were on the scene. Actually, it was the Anaheim Fire Department.]

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richard.duchon@latimes.com

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