Twelve students and two teachers at the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program building in Anaheim were taken to the hospital with injuries after the roof of the adult classrooms collapsed on December 15, 2008 because a main drain failed. According to this news report in The Orange County Register, the injured victims suffered neck, back, muscular, skeletal and wrist injuries.
Officials are saying that the roof caved in after a main drain failed above one of the classrooms. This caused water to collect and the roof to cave in taking an air-conditioning unit down with it. The injured victims were said to have been between 17 and 50 years old. A 50-year-old female teacher had to be rescued after she was trapped under the debris.
I’m relieved that this Anaheim roof collapse did not result in catastrophic injuries. My heart goes out to everyone who was injured and possibly traumatized by this horrific incident. I wish all of the injured victims a complete and quick recovery – both physically and emotionally.
The North Orange County Regional Occupation Program (ROP) offers year-round technical training to students as part of the California public school system, according to their Web site. The program apparently teaches skills to 25,000 high school and adult students each year and they have 74 regional occupational programs and centers in California.
Apparently, center officials took out a building permit for a new roof in August of 2007 and a final inspection was completed the following month. The question I’d ask is: Why don’t they have a new roof more than a year after they took out the permit? If they took out a permit, obviously the center officials knew that the roof needed repairs. After the incident, the building was red-tagged making it is too unstable to be used.
If I were a student or teacher who was injured in this incident, I would be consulting with a reputed Orange County personal injury lawyer to find out about my legal rights on this matter. If the agency or entity that was responsible for maintaining this Anaheim facility knew that the roof was in a state of disrepair and still did nothing about it, they could be held liable for the injuries caused as a result of this roof cave-in.