Officials assure safety at Kenan Stadium

September 2, 2008 4:27:35 PM PDT
Is Kenan Stadium on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus safe?

That's the question Eyewitness News is asking after a frightening situation during the Carolina football game last weekend.

Pieces of concrete fell nearly 20 feet into crowded stands. Eyewitness News Reporter Tim Nelson was at the game and shot video of the scene.

Two chunks fell from the upper level to the lower level. A police officer and emergency officals held chunks of each piece -- about the size of a brick -- just after the pieces landed.

The people who were seated in the area where the concrete fell had left the game early and weren't in the seats.

"The piece weighed maybe 3 to 5 pounds, and it could've really hurt somebody seriously if it had hit them," UNC Director of Athletic Facilities Willie Scroggs said. "We were just lucky that didn't happen."

He was able to knock another piece loose Tuesday.

"Some pieces got in there, some moisture got in there, made it loose, and then when you put a bunch of people in the stands all screaming and yelling the place does vibrate a bit, and they found some weaknesses," Scroggs said.

He said such spots will be examined by a team of engineers.

"What has happened in this area of the stadium could be happening at any point, so we want to take a hard look at everything," Scroggs said.

UNC says Kenan Stadium is structurally sound. Officials think they'll be able to make all necessary repairs and don't think they'll have to close any seating areas for Carolina's next home game on September 20.


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