Choir tumbles when risers collapse
Middle school concert disrupted by falls

Wednesday, December 16, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Mount Healthy South Middle School choir's Christmas concert abruptly ended Tuesday night when several sections of the choral risers collapsed, injuring six choir members.

The 200 choir members, swaying back and forth, were performing an encore near the end of the concert in the Miles Road school's gymnasium when the riser sections collapsed about 7:45 p.m.

Mount Healthy City Schools Superintendent David J. Horine said six of the seventh- and eighth-grade students suffered ankle, foot and leg injuries. There were no upper body or head injuries, he said.

"Some of them said they jumped when they felt uncomfortable," the superintendent said.

The maximum height of the three-level semicircular riser arrangement is 2 1-2 feet.

"We were singing 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,' " said 13-year-old Matthew Goans, a choir member who was not injured. "There were people that started to scream and parents (in the audience) ran over to get their kids."

"Everybody was swaying back and forth. Then they heard this boom," said 10-year-old Christen Goans, Matthew's younger sister. "I was crying. I thought Matthew got injured."

Choir Director Everett Moore said about 150 members of the 200 choir members were standing on the risers when several sections collapsed.

"Basically we were on our final selection -- an encore . . . members of the choir were swaying back and forth," said Mr. Moore, who is also a teacher.

Springfield Township life squads took three of the injured to Children's Hospital Medical Center, where their injuries were being evaluated late Tuesday.

Mr. Horine said the risers will be inspected today.

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