Canopy collapses on band students, 25 injured

A concrete canopy collapsed Saturday on a group of band students who had gathered outside a North Carolina high school shortly before a competition, leaving 25 people injured, authorities said.

Dr. Howard Bell of Iredell Emergency Medical Services confirmed the injury total to reporters after the awning collapse outside the entrance to North Iredell High School in Olin, about 55 miles north of Charlotte. At least one student was taken to a Winston-Salem hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, authorities said, without elaborating.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our students, and we understand that some of the parents may have been injured as well," Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Brady Johnson said.
Iredell-Statesville Schools spokeswoman Susie Wiberg said the students were standing under the awning as a band competition was about to get started inside the school. Wiberg said a box truck hit one of the canopy supports and the awning then fell, hitting the students underneath it. A driveway leads up to the canopied entrance.

Wiberg said emergency personnel rushed to the school, located in rural Iredell County near a major north-south route, Interstate 77.

"The EMS folks got there pretty quickly," Wiberg said. "They were wonderful."

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