Massachusetts Youth Hockey Players Escape Injury in Rink Roof Collapse

March 2, 2015

A youth hockey team escaped without injury when part of a snow-weighted roof collapsed at a Massachusetts skating rink on Saturday morning, officials said.

Police in Canton said the rear portion of the roof at the Metropolis Skating Rink began to fail as a Norwood youth team was inside but they were able to get out along with parents and rink workers. All are safe and accounted for.

Witnesses said they heard a series of loud bangs before the collapse that alerted them to get out.

Canton Fire Chief Charlie Doody told The Patriot Ledger of Quincy that the children were still in the locker room. He said a coach who was the only one on the ice was propelled across the rink by air pressure from the collapse, which also damaged part of the building’s front facade.

Doody said things could have been much worse if the collapse had happened a couple hours later.

“At 9 a.m. there were going to be 200 to 300 kids for Learn to Skate. We could have potentially had a very different situation,” he said.

Lynn Valkanas was outside the rink later with her 9-year-old daughter, Laura, a goalie from Canton who was supposed to have attended the 9 a.m. ceremonial free skate on the last day of skating class.

“This is scary,” the girl told the newspaper. “It’s sad. I have a lot of memories here.”

State and local inspectors were evaluating the building.

State officials say heavy snow has caused roof collapses on more than 150 structures this winter.

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