CHICAGO (CBS) — Three fourth grade students are expected to be okay after a light pole fell on them while they were playing during recess at Butler Elementary School in Lockport Monday morning.
School officials say the incident happened around 11 a.m.
The students were taken, by ambulance, to a local hospital, but are expected to be okay. One student, nine-year-old Peyton Forrest, fractured a rib when the light pole came crashing down.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory asked the school district’s superintendent who is responsible for the broken light pole and how often they are maintained. He did not answer those questions, but reiterated that all structures on all Homer campuses will be inspected.
“All of a sudden it just falls and hits my back and I fall,” recalled Peyton Forrest. “I hit my elbow and my knee. Everything hurts. It hurts to like, walk. Two or three kids were on the pole and they were standing there and they were kind of like playing on it and then it just falls.”
The heavy metal hit two other fourth graders, including Gianna Garzolini’s best friend.
“I ran over and I just saw Anna in a wheelchair and I just started crying. I’m like ‘Oh my God! How did this happen?” Gianna said.
Administrators are trying to figure out how the light pole fell. Peyton’s family members have their own suspicious and said they snapped photos.
“You can see right there. It has been rusted for a while, a long while,” Petyon’s step-dad, Jeff Scellato said.
Parents of the students are also frustrated with the alert sent out by school leaders saying it minimized the situation. It said the three students were “picked up by parents,” but the victims were actually taken to the hospital by ambulance.
William J. Butler Elementary School is part of the Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C. The district posted the message addressed to parents on its Facebook page.
“The problem is, he turns around and posts that the children are all okay. Did you ask us?” Scellato said.
“It just really hurt,” Peyton stated.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory said another light pole on school grounds looked rusty. Administrators did not mention it Monday, but the district needs more than $36 million in repairs across its six schools and other buildings, according to a statement posted on the district’s website less than one year ago.
The school district said it is investigating the situation. School officials say they are happy the students do not have any life-threatening injuries and that they are okay.