Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 11, 2014

Man hurt in cage collapse released

GOSHEN — A man injured in the collapse of a batting cage at Goshen College’s Recreation and Fitness Center Monday night has been released from the hospital.

According to GC spokeswoman Jodi Beyeler, all victims have now been released from the hospital. Two were transported by ambulance to IU Health Goshen Hospital and one was driven there by a private vehicle, according to firefighters. Two other people were injured but not transported. The names of the victims have not been released.

The investigation into what allowed the batting cage, one of two suspended over the gym floor, to fall is continuing. Goshen College officials will oversee that investigation because the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not have the authority to do so.

“IOSHA does not have jurisdiction unless an employee is injured,” said spokesman Robert Dittmer.

Dittmer said a GC student was injured, but she was acting as a volunteer referee for the summer girls volleyball league that was playing matches at the time the steel-framed batting cage fell.

Witnesses at the scene said they heard a series of “pops” as steel cables holding one of the cages broke one by one. The cage frame fell on two small groups of fans watching a match and was stopped from hitting the volleyball court when the volleyball net and stand broke the fall.

“Goshen College takes safety seriously for all its students, employees and visitors, and is investigating this incident thoroughly to ensure it will never happen again, so far as we are able,” Beyeler said in an e-mail statement. “The investigation is being conducted by Goshen College and external experts, including engineers. There is no timeline set for when that investigation will be completed.”

She said until the investigation moves forward, the gymnasium will remain closed. The rest of the rec center will be open to the public. Updates on when the gym will be open will be posted at http://www.goshen.edu/rfc.

Beyeler said, “Goshen College continues to offer prayers for, support to and communication with the individuals injured in this very unfortunate accident.”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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