Reading, PA Grandstand Collapse, Jul 1911

Falling Stand Hurts 26.

Two May Die as Result of Collapse at Reading Ball Park.

Reading, Penn., July 4.-Twenty-six persons were injured, two of them seriously, by the collapse of the small grand stand at the Reading Tri-State Baseball Park to-day. Herman J. Folkman, a well known merchant, had his back broken and will probably die. Mrs. A.J. Fisher had her spine injured and was hurt internally. Slight hopes are entertained for her recovery. District Attorney Schaffer sustained slight internal injuries.

The second floor of the stand filled before the first, causing it to become top heavy and fall on the spectators below, crushing them. Many saved their lives by jumping.

The New York Times, New York, NY 5 Jul 1911

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Score Injured In Grand Stand Collapse

Lauers Park Ground, Reading Scene of Accident Prior to Tri-Sate Game.

Special to The Inquirer.
Reading, Pa., July 4.-Just as a crowd of 4000 persons were assembling for this afternoon’s Reading-Lancaster Tri-State baseball game on the Lauers Park ground, there was a mighty crash, followed by the collapse of a double deck grand stand in which fully a score of people were injured, several of them seriously.

Police patrol wagons and ambulances rushed them to the Reading and Homeopathic hospitals, where it was found that the most seriously injured were Charles S. Welds, a retired Penn street merchant, who had his jaw fractured, nose broken and is injured internally; Herman Folkman, a Penn street merchant, back injured and hurt internally, Reading Hospital; Miss Mae Anderson, Mohnton, daughter to County Commissioner Anderson, contusions of face and body and suffering from nervous shock, Homeopathic Hospital.

These were the only ones detained at the hospitals, the others having been discharged as soon as their injuries were dressed. Among the latter were District Attorney Harry D. Schaffer, who suffered a sprained back. There was less than 100 persons on the second story of the stand which was one built in addition to the usual grand stand. When the structure began to sag backward, many leaped forward toward the diamond, as they noticed the weakening of the structure and thus escaped serious injury. The accident threatened a panic among the large audience, which was avoided by ball players and policemen.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 5 Jul 1911