More than a dozen students were reported hurt, two of them critically, after a stage collapsed during a rock concert Thursday night at a suburban Indianapolis high school.
Students were performing "American Pie," a rock concert, when the stage went down inside the Westfield High School auditorium in Westfield, Indiana, Indiana State Police told NBC station WTHR.
Lead singer Nicole Gruszka had stepped forward to go into the audience just moments before.
"Literally a second later, the orchestra pit just collapsed in on itself," she said.
Gruszka said the students had practiced the scene several times on the stage before the performance.
"We've closed the show like that all three years that we've done it. We rehearsed that at dress rehearsal. There were never any issues with that exact process," she said. "We thought the worst thing that could happen was someone would miss their cue and not end up on stage."
Sara Camden, a woman whose son was performing, said she'd seen students practice on the stage numerous times but wasn't aware of any structural problems. Her son was not among the injured.
U.S. & World
Video Camden posted to Twitter showed several students jumping on the stage portion that ultimately fell.
Westfield Mayor Andy Cook, who visited several students in area hospitals, said the injured students are expected to be OK.
"I said, 'You kids must have been really rocking,' and they said 'Yes, we were having a great time,'" Cook said. "It was the last piece of music, and they rocked."
Cook noted that the incident was concerning.
"The word stage collapse has a special connotation in Indiana, so I was very concerned when I heard it first," he said.
Seven people were killed and scores more injured in a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair back in August 2011 as fans were awaiting the start of a Sugarland concert.
Westfield High School's principal, Stacy McGuire, tweeted after Thursday's incident that she was grateful for the first responders and thanked them "for taking care of our kids."
McGuire wrote that the school "will get through this together by taking good care of each other."
"The spirit of 'American Pie' is all about family," she wrote.