May 14 - 3 Grandstand Collapses - An Engineer's Aspect


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Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14 - 3 Grandstand Collapses

1927 - Stands Collapse at the Philadelphia National League Baseball Park

Decatur Herald, Decatur, Illinois, Sunday Morning, May 15, 1927, Page 6.

One is Killed as Philly Baseball Stands Collapse


(By Associated Press)

PHILADELPHIA, May 15 -- One man was reported killed and a number injured in a collapse of part of the lower tier of the right field grandstand of the Philadelphia National league baseball park Saturday. The accident occurred in the first half of the seventh inning in the game between St. Louis and Philadelphia. The game was stopped with the score 12 to 3 in favor of Philadelphia.

The dead man is believed to have died from heart disease as a result of the excitement. More than a dozen persons were taken to hospitals while others were treated on the scene. The collapse occurred near the first base side of the stand, and involved two rows each about 20 feet wide. The spectators did not fall through the short space to the ground but the seats rather sagged down. It is believed the supports became weakened by the crowed stamping their feet when the Philadelphia team made eight runs in the sixth inning.

1949 - Stands Collapse at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

San Mateo Times, San Mateo, California, Saturday, May 14, 1949, Page 1.

29 Hurt When Stands Collapse

INDIANAPOLIS, May 14.--(AP)--A section of a grandstand collapsed beneath the weight of Indianapolis motor speedway fans today, causing serious injury to one Indianapolis man and cuts and bruises to 28 others.

Approximately 5000 of the more than 50,000 persons out to watch the opening of qualifications of the 500-mile race May 30 were crowded into the old wooden structure on the long southwest turn when the cave-in occurred.

The collapse took place in two boxes on the first level of the stands, and the other fans in the area were not affected by the accident.

One eyewitness said the floor "opened up like a zipper." Speedway officials blamed the collapse on over-loading by fans seeking the best seats along the edge of the track.

Thirteen of the injured were taken to Indianapolis General hospital. The other 16 injured were treated at the Emergency hospital which is set up on the infield of the big two and a half mile oval.

The qualifications were interrupted briefly by the accident.

Joe Quinn, speedway safety director, said the injured persons fell about 15 feet to the ground.

(Turn to Page 3, Column 3)

San Mateo Times, San Mateo, California, Saturday, May 14, 1949, Page 3.

29 Hurt When Stands Collapse

(Continued from Page 1)

He said the wooden stands had been inspected and approved before opening the grounds to the public.


(Marcel Periat, San Mateo motor mechanic, is at the Indianapolis track where the accident occurred, members of his family here said. He has been engaged by the National Motor Racing association as an expert in wheel alignment for the past 14 years. He left San Mateo the first of the month.)

1968 - Stands Collapse at Catholic Youth Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Bedford Gazette, Bedford, PA., Wednesday, May 15, 1968, Page 9.

Fifteen Priests Injured As Bleachers Collapse

HARRISBURG (UPI) -- Fifteen priests in a group of about 200 were injured Tuesday when a 15-foot high temporary bleachers collapsed at the Catholic Youth Center here during a picture-taking ceremony.

Bishop George L. Leech, head of the Harrisburg Roman Catholic Diocese, escaped possible injury by a matter of minutes. He was at the center, at 233 North St., at the time, preparing to enter the gymnasium to join the group in a photograph when the stand collapsed.

Some of the priests suffered possible fractures, but all were reported in satisfactory condition.

The priests were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Diocese and were gathered in the gymnasium for commemorative photographs. Earlier, they had attended a Centenrary Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Leech.

Ambulances took six priests to Holy Spirit Hospital in nearby Camp Hill. They were Rev. Bolesiaus Stankiewicz, 51, of Ranshaw, possible fractured left leg; Rev. Francis Mongelluzzi, 54, of St. Ann's Church Lancaster, possible fractured left shoulder and left leg; Rev. Cletus Hauck, 61, Lancaster, possible fractured ankle; Rev. Joseph Smith, 57, Sacred Heart Church, Cornwall, possible back injury; Rev. Fred A. Farace, 39, Myerstown, Lebanon County, possible fractured shoulder, and the Rev. Andre Meluski, 37, Harrisburg, possible fractured right leg.

Nine priests were taken to Harrisburg Hospital for treatment. Five of them, suffering leg injuries, were detained. They were the Rev. Raymond Daugherty, 51, St. Joseph's Hospital, Lancaster; Rev. George Lentocha, 45, St. Peter's Church, Steelton; Rev. Fabian Zator, 62, St. Stephen's Church, Shamokin; Rev. Louis Daugherty, 49, Holy Family Directory, Danville, and Rev. Leo Beirschmitt, 48, York.