The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday launched a formal safety investigation into the stage collapse at a suburban Indianapolis high school that injured more than a dozen students.
The department initially said it lacked jurisdiction to investigate because no employees were involved. But it reversed that stance Monday based on new information that employees helped erect the stage.
This investigation will help to verify whether IOSHA has jurisdiction over the matter and if any OSHA regulations were violated," said agency spokeswoman Amanda Stanley.
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The stage at Westfield High School collapsed Thursday night as clapping and singing students performed Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" in the finale of a concert called "American Pie".
Westfield Washington Schools Superintendent Mark Keen said he wasn't sure who, if anyone, handles inspections of the district's school stages. He said school officials are delving into records and would provide information to investigators.
Keen said the school often rents its auditorium to outside groups and the facility gets heavy use. He said the orchestra pit cover, which is used during some productions to get the performers closer to the audience, was replaced a few years ago after the original 1997 cover was damaged.
He said officials were checking records to determine whether it had ever been inspected.
The uncertainty surrounding the regulation of the collapse is reminiscent of questions that arose in 2011, when heavy winds toppled stage rigging onto fans awaiting a performance by country duo Sugarland at the Indiana State Fair.