Rosemont Elementary School, Lagrange, GA
LAGRANGE, Ga. -- Seven injured children were out of the hospital and back home Friday night after a frightening and potentially life-threatening accident at their elementary school.
They were part of a group of students playing on an inflatable slide when the slide collapsed.
Everyone wants to know why it collapsed.
At about 1:00 p.m. Friday, 5th Graders entered the gym at Rosemont Elementary School in Troup County for a celebration -- a reward for the students who met their accelerated reading goals.
Games were set up on the gym floor, along with a tall, inflatable slide.
When the kids started climbing and jumping on that slide, it collapsed.
"Everybody started screaming," said one of the 5th Graders, Isaiah Duke.
Isaiah said he and his classmates had just walked into the gym when more than a dozen of them went straight for the slide.
"There was lots of kids jumping and screaming on the slide. And the teachers kept on trying to get them in a straight line. But everybody started jumping on there. And there were some kids that were jumping and pushing the slide over. I think one of the cords that was holding the slide popped I think, I heard something pop."
What happened next was a blur of children tumbling down, on top of other children.
"Some were, like, on the bottom when it happened, but there were some on the top that really got hurt. The slide tipped all the way over and kids started screaming, one girl started -- she was on top of the slide -- started screaming."
Tina Duckett, the spokesperson for the Troup County School System, said seven children were taken to hospitals and later released; eleven others who were hurt were treated at the school.
Duckett said a local business had set up the inflatable slide for the school celebration.
"It collapsed when the children were on it," Duckett said. "We've had celebrations in the past and this is the first time this type of incident has occurred.... It's totally frightening to us because our focus is children on a daily basis, and to have any injuries to any child is absolutely devastating."
Isaiah Duke's aunt, Morgan Orantes, whose own child also attends Rosemont Elementary, wants the school and the Sheriff's investigators to find out soon why the slide collapsed.
"I don't know exactly how it happened, so I don't know if there were too many kids on it or if it wasn't being monitored correctly," Orantes said. "I mean I haven't gotten all the information, so I don't know."
School parents like Tabitha Nation are grateful that all the injured kids were able to go home.
"I'm praying for the children that got injured," Nation said, praising the way the school responded.
"It's an accident, and it could have happened anywhere. It could happen at a birthday party."