Ice Falls Off Super Bowl Stadium; 6 Hurt, 1 Critically

February 4, 2011

NPR Staff and Wires

Six people were injured, at least one of them critically, by falling ice at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Friday.

All six were taken to hospitals, The Dallas Morning News reported, and two of them were in stable condition. None had been identified Friday afternoon.

Winter weather has plagued Super Bowl week in the Dallas area — first an ice storm, then rolling power outages while the region had its coldest day since 1989. And today, a surprise 5-inch snowfall.

Luckily, the stadium has a roof, and it's been closed all week. Not so luckily, huge sheets of ice and snow began sliding off that roof Friday morning.

"It started falling throughout the day, causing minor injuries," Lt. Pedro Arevalo, a fire department spokesman, told the Dallas Morning News.

The accident forced officials to shut all but one entrance to the stadium. Arevalo said authorities hadn't dealt with ice falling from the roof of the two-year-old stadium before — so they hadn't planned for it.

"All this stuff just keeps getting thrown at us," he says, "but we've been prepared and we're ready for these types of situations — other than the ice. That's one thing we didn't take into consideration."

And forecasts for Sunday — which earlier in the week called for sunshine and temperatures near 60 — have taken a wintry turn. Weather.com now predicts a high topping out at 41 with a chance of rain or snow Sunday morning.

This will be the first Super Bowl ever in North Texas. And that stadium roof? Officials promise it will stay closed at kickoff Sunday night. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.