TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- One 13-year-old student has died and 14 others were injured after a stage suddenly collapsed during a dance audition in China's Fujian Province on Saturday (May 25).
It is estimated that there were over a hundred children and dozens of adults moving into position on a stage for a group photo in the Golden Daffodil theatre in Zhangzhou at 9 p.m. on Sunday evening, when the center stage lift suddenly collapsed. Scores of children immediately plunged into the deep pit opened by the collapsed lift, causing 15 children to sustain injuries, reported Sing Tao Daily.
The 15 injured children were rushed to a nearby hospital, where a 13-year-old student was pronounced dead. Three other children have sustained serious injuries, while the rest received treatment for minor injuries, reported Asia One.
The event was organized by the Kunming Queshen Wenhua Communication Company (昆明雀神文化傳播公司) and the children were posing for a group photo after auditioning for a dancing display known as the Lucky Peacock, according to local Chinese media. On the company's website, it claims it was founded by dancer Yang Liping who, "initiated and established a national chain of cultural and artistic exchanges and artistic personnel training and education institutions."
In the video, the last few participants walk into a rear row when stage right starts to collapse and dozens of children are swallowed into a huge hole that opens up, causing the announcer to scream out of terror. The video then cuts to the chaotic scene as teachers and parents try to rescue the children who have fallen into the massive pit and the announcer screams "children don't move."
A young female student's leg was trapped in the lifting apparatus and a hydraulic jack had to be used to pry her free after 20 minutes, reported ETtoday. A man surnamed Huang said that his niece had suffered a head injury during the incident and there were fears that she had sustained "internal injuries," according to the report.
A preliminary investigation by local authorities has determined that the collapse was caused by excessive weight on one side of the stage lift, reported Thepaper.cn. However, an organizer surnamed Yuan claimed that the stage collapsed because it was "worn out and hold," reported Fujian news portal mnw.cn.
Three people affiliated with the event have been taken in for questioning by local authorities, while two others have been summoned.