5 Students Injured at New Rochelle High School During Track Meet as Protective Fence Collapses

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Five students were injured today at New Rochelle High School when protective fencing erected around a temporary discus throwing area collapsed on the students. Four of the injured students were taken to Montefiore. Some of the injuries were serious and four students were taken away on stretchers, with one student taken away on a wheel chair.

The students were competing in the New Rochelle Invitational.

New Rochelle Firefighters, New Rochelle Police and Paramedics were called to the scene shortly before noon.

There were three pieces of fencing held together by hooks. The two side panels, secured to a central panel, weighed in excess of 400 pounds, sources say.

High winds may have been a factor, according to first responders on the scene. Windows at the time were WNW at 25 mph.

Athletic Director Steve Young was on hand examining the fencing.

There are expected to be a number of questions as how the incident could have occurred.

The fencing was placed on the surface of the turf in front of the new wing of the high school. It was not secured into the ground or held in place with heavy sandbags or other weights.

Investigators will be looking into the manufacturers specifications for installation of the equipment.

The fencing was erected on Friday by a Buildings & Grounds crew working out of Cliff Street, workers supervised by James Bonanno.

UPDATE: Brian Heyman at the Journal News has a good report on this incident, Five New Rochelle girls discus throwers injured. Heyman reports the following:

Trinity Garcia - neck injury, the fence hit her head, arm, leg. Taken to Montefiore Hospital.

Nijera Manuel - arm injury. Taken to Montefiore Hospital.

Jennifer Ballesteros - knee injury. Taken to Montefiore Hospital.

Maya Cooper - knee injury. Taken to Montefiore Hospital.

Janet Buenrostro - elbow injury. Take to private physician.

Heyman spoke to the mother of one of the injured students who said the discus throwing area was moved this year from the back field to the front field due to concerns about possibly injuries in the more crowded back field area.

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