Brooklyn, NY Balcony Collapse In Armory, Jan 1924

HUNDRED BOYS HURT IN CRASH.

ARMORY IN BROOKLYN IS SCENE OF ACCIDENT DURING TRACK MEET.

HUGE BALCONY FALLS.

FIFTY BOYS NEAR DEATH IN ACCIDENT AT PUBLIC SCHOOL ENTERTAINMENT.

New York. -- More than 100 school boys were injured, fifty seriously, when a balcony collapsed in the Thirteenth Regiment Armory in Brooklyn, where 15,000 persons were watching a school track meet and field meet.
All the injured were boys, except one, a man of 60.
Ambulances were called from ten hospitals to take care of the injured and the rescue work was carried on with the greatest of confusion. Haphazardly organized rescue workers fought to clear the big hall of the huge crowd.
Police reserves were called out from three police stations to help handle the crowd and reserves in other stations were held in readiness. The balcony collapsed as a race was being run on the track below. As the runners rounded a turn the excited, cheering school children leaned forward to watch. Those behind them pressed forward to get a better view and the weight crushed the supports of that section of the balcony and it fell with its human load.
Approximately eighty feet of a section of the balcony fell, dropping the spectators to the floor.
Many of these had one or two broken wrists -- in some cases the bones projecting through the flesh -- or serious head wounds. Not a boy escaped injury in some degree. The 440-yard race was being run.
The rivets at the upper ends of the iron rail -- which it was said had been in the building for thirty years -- snapped.
The result was that the boys, ranging in age from 8 to 15 years, were shot forward as in a chute, and few could avoid falling on hands, heads or shoulders.
For two or three hours the armory district was besieged by frantic parents.
Nearly 7,000 boys and girls were cleared from the building in two or three minutes, in five minutes fifty doctors and nurses were at the armory. Police and firemen had drawn a cordon about the building.
Efforts to check up on the extent of the disaster by telephone brought the hurried answer that everybody was "trying to take care of those boys that were hurt, and get them to the hospital."
The balcony did not fall completely, but tilted downward and the spectators were dropped down upon others below. The railing had broken and the deeply packed lines of pushing school boys shoved those ahead and were passed by those behind.
Scores fell to the floor.
Cries of terror, hysterical shrieks and the groans of the injured filled the building, terrifying the whole crowd.

Bulletin Casa Grande Arizona 1924-01-26