School Stage Collapse: No Permits

No one was trapped and everyone was accounted for, police said

By Tena Ezzeddine, Joel Grover and Keith Esparros
|  Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014  |  Updated 10:17 PM PDT
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The NBC4 I-Team searched records and found no building permit for a stage expansion at Servite High School in Anaheim. The stage collapsed Saturday night, injuring dozens of students. I-Team Reporter Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

Joel Grover

The NBC4 I-Team searched records and found no building permit for a stage expansion at Servite High School in Anaheim. The stage collapsed Saturday night, injuring dozens of students. I-Team Reporter Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

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Upgrades to the Servite High School stage that collapsed Saturday during a performance had no permits, sources told the NBC4 I-team.

Some 250 girls from Rosary High School in Anaheim were dancing on the stage Saturday when part of it collapsed, sending dozens 9 feet onto the floor below.

Twenty eight students were injured, some with broken bones.

A source said he was surprised no one was killed in the accident.

The NBC4 I-team searched through hundreds of Anaheim city records, but was unable to find any permits issued to Servite for the stage addition.

Spokespeople for Anaheim said they had the same result.

Two sources said the stage was built out in two separate additions, the first in the early 1980s and a second, larger addition in the mid 1990s.

Both of those projects “absolutely” would have required a permit, but none was issued, the sources said.

Carly Yates, a former ballet student and a current NBC4 intern, had danced on the stage for years.

She said she and her fellow dancers were always concerned about the safety of the stage.

“There was something wrong it,” says Yates.

She says dancers would wait below the stage until it was their turn to perform.

"When you were underneath the stage in the Green Room, you saw the boards were flimsy," she said. "They would bend and down as the dancers on top if it danced on it."

Servite High School posted a statement on its website Wednesday, saying its own investigation revealed a "flaw" in the construction of the stage, but had no further details.

School officials say they are cooperating with investigators, and that it will submit plans for a new reengineered stage to the city of Anaheim Planning and Building Department.

Servite High School is an all-boys Roman Catholic college preparatory, but students from the all-girls preparatory Rosary High School use the theater for performances.

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