10 Die in German Ice Rink Collapse

January 3, 2006

At least 10 persons have been confirmed dead, and more are feared to have died, following the collapse of the roof of an ice rink in the Bavarian town of Bad Reichenhall.

The BBC reported that at lest 50 people had been skating at the facility when the snow-laden roof collapsed on Monday, Jan.2.

Six bodies have been found and removed from the rubble, including those of four children. Four more bodies have yet to be pulled out of the debris. 18 people have been hospitalized, and another 16 escaped unhurt.

The report notes that “some 360 firefighters, police and soldiers are at the scene, and a state of emergency has been declared in the area. Six cranes are being used to lift debris, and officials have indicated that about half the rink is now accessible to emergency workers. But their work has been hampered by fears about the structural safety of the building.”

One eyewitness told the BBC that the structure was built in 1974 with a flat roof. She indicated that the weight of accumulated snow on the roof from recent storms had probably caused the collapse. Local authorities have launched an investigation.

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