LOCAL L.A. Now

Stage collapse probe: flawed construction and likely no permit

A stage that collapsed at an Anaheim high school and left two dozen students injured had flawed construction and may not have had a building permit, according to school officials.

In a message posted Wednesday on the Servite High School website, President Peter S. Bowen said the school launched an internal investigation following the incident last Saturday in which 24 students from another school were injured during a performance.

“The investigation revealed a flaw in the construction of the apron covering the orchestra pit. The apron was not part of the original theater construction and was added sometime in the early 1980’s," he wrote.

"We have not found a record of an apron building permit.”

Anaheim police had said that the section of the stage that collapsed was an extension built in 1996.

A video posted to YouTube this week showed the crowded stage before the collapse Saturday night. In it, a large number of girls — police had estimated about 250 — shouted, jumped up and down and waved pompoms before the platform suddenly gave way.

Kelly Esperias, a spokeswoman for the school, said officials don’t yet know why the permit was’t filed.

"Obviously it was a long time ago," she said.

The school is now planning to submit plans to the city for a new, re-engineered stage apron. 

“Safety is our number one concern,” Esperias said.

Ruth Ruiz, a spokeswoman for the city, said the school “should have submitted a permit.”

But, she added “there is no criminal activity as far as we can see. They didn’t have a permit. They know they didn’t have a permit and we are working with them to correct it.”

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Twitter: @PalomaEsquivel

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