Pa. ice rink’s roof partially collapses during youth hockey tournament, but no one injured

By Dan Nephin, AP
Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pa. ice rink’s roof collapses, but no one injured

ROSTRAVER, Pa. — The roof of a skating rink partially collapsed while the ice was being resurfaced during a youth hockey tournament Sunday afternoon, but no one was injured.

The collapse happened at the Rostraver Ice Garden, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Emergency crews searched the building using cadaver dogs and thermal-imaging cameras.

Rostraver Central Assistant Chief Justin Shawley said no one was found in the damaged building, which was being turned back over to its owner.

The hockey teams were in the locker room when a 100-by-200-foot section of the roof fell in, and the only person on the ice was the worker who was resurfacing it with a Zamboni, a small vehicle used to clean and smooth the rink’s surface, he said. There was confusion soon after the collapse, with people unaccounted for, and authorities wanted to thoroughly search the building before declaring that everyone was safe, he said.

Kim Little, a line cook in the rink’s restaurant, said people inside heard a crack minutes before the roof dropped.

“The whole roof just fell in, and you could see the sky,” Little said.

She said a birthday party was taking place in the building, which also has banquet and meeting rooms and from the outside looks like a airplane hangar.

The cause of the roof collapse hadn’t been determined.

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