Students return to class one day after partial ceiling collapse - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Students return to class one day after partial ceiling collapse


Students and staff at a Hartford school returned to class Friday, one day after a partial ceiling collapse injured a student and student teacher, but not all of the classrooms have been deemed safe.

Hartford public schools spokesman David Medina said four classrooms inside Thomas McDonough School have been closed by the structural engineer, and Friday morning was spent on the logistics of moving the 100 or so students affected by the collapse on Thursday afternoon.

"I have black and blue all over my arms and scratches," said seventh-grade student Felix Tosado.

He said he was in the middle of science class Thursday when part of the ceiling, a 6x12-foot piece of sheet rock, came crashing down without warning.

The collapse also injured a student teacher.

Tosado and other students said there was a crack in the ceiling before the collapse, and said it was mentioned to officials months ago when it was first noticed.

"The roof had been broken since the beginning of the year," said witness Thalia Rodriguez. "We've been telling the teacher and the custodian found out."

Medina said prior to the collapse he wasn't made aware of issues with the ceiling, and checked the records from the past two years. He said there were no requests for ceiling repairs at McDonough.

It's not good enough for Tosado's mother, who said she is planning to file a lawsuit.

"It's scary for me," Elizabeth Velasquez said. "I could have lost my son. Something worse could have happened."

Medina said the classrooms will remain closed until the end of the school year, which is next Friday, and then repair work will begin.

The last time the school was renovated was in the 1990s.

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