Youth Hockey Players Escape Injury In Roof Rink Collapse

A youth hockey team escaped without injury when part of a snow-weighted roof collapsed at a 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.

Norwood Nuggets coach Chris Sharkey told Boston's WBZ-AM that some children were in the locker room and some were on the ice, "and then we heard a snap and knew something was wrong.

"We started to get off the ice and started screaming for all the kids, and the second snap came," Sharkey said. "Then just it turned into complete `get off the ice as quick as possible and get these kids out of the structure'," he said.

Canton Fire Chief Charlie Doody told the Patriot Ledger of Quincy a coach 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.

This article was originally published on February 28, 2015.


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