Several hurt after snow and ice slide off Super Bowl stadium
Chronicle News Services
Feb. 4, 2011, 4:55PM
Charlie Riedel APSome of the ice on the roof of Cowboys Stadium came loose Friday, falling and injuring several people.
ARLINGTON — Emergency officials say ice and snow falling from the roof of Cowboys Stadium has left at least six people injured.
The Arlington Fire department says six people were taken to hospitals Friday afternoon. The two most seriously injured were described as stable. The department says none of the injuries appears to be life-threatening.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says in an e-mail that as many as seven people had been injured and all were in good condition. A concessions tent also was damaged.
Aiello says the snow is being cleared away in preparation for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
There were conflicting reports about the number of injured. Lieutenant Pedro Arevalo of the Arlington Fire Department told Bloomberg News that six people were injured, two critically.The injured were National Football League workers preparing for the Sunday's Super Bowl, Arevalo said.
“When the ice falls at such a high altitude, it catches wind and it can go roughly 60 to 70 feet away from the stadium,” Arevalo said. “It was on the northeast side of the stadium, where it slopes down.”
Earlier, Super Bowl safety committee official Arnie Valdez told The Associated Press that five people were injured and that at least one was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
The ice fell about midday Friday.
“The ice and snow melting off of the Cowboys Stadium roof has caused several sliding snow falls onto the plaza,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
All stadium entrances, except for a truck tunnel, were closed after the ice and snow began falling from the roof.
“The likelihood is they’ll have to get somebody up there to get the snow off as soon as possible,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “They likely will be doing that in the next 24 hours.”
Five inches of snow are on the ground in Arlington after an overnight storm Thursday added to a Super Bowl week full of icy weather in a normally temperate climate. An area that usually sees highs in the 50s has had subfreezing temperatures since Tuesday morning.
The National Weather Service said Arlington was among the areas of North Texas that had the largest accumulation Friday morning.
Although warmer temperatures are on the way, the weather service says snow and ice will still be on the ground Sunday, when Green Bay and Pittsburgh play under the retractable roof at Cowboys Stadium.
“The snow on the ground will hang around for the weekend,” said Amber Elliott, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. “I hate to say most of it. At least half of it.”
The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.