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Inspectors work to find out cause of awning collapse at Huntsville's Von Braun Center

Inspectors spent much of Wednesday morning working to find out what caused an awning to collapse at the Von Braun Center.

Posted: Apr 28, 2021 7:37 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2021 8:30 PM

Inspectors spent much of Wednesday morning working to find out what caused an awning to collapse at the Von Braun Center.

We learned the cleanup could take weeks.

A spokesperson with the Von Braun Center said an initial assessment done Wednesday morning determined the damage to the building is centered around the ceiling components that collapsed.

"As you can see, we've got it blocked off right now. Number one is for safety. We don't want anybody from the public to try and get close up pictures and possibly get hurt," said Samantha Nielsen, Public Relations Manager at the Von Braun Center.

The area will be blocked off for several weeks and cleanup of the collapsed awning will have to wait while inspectors assess the damage.

"We're not going to be able to clean up the area until the insurance inspector has done their thing, and then, we have the building inspections coming in, the structural engineers to identify what actually happened, and then, we can start the cleanup process and make plans to rebuild," said Nielsen.

The collapsed awning is blocking an entrance into the Von Braun Center, but not one that most people use.

"This is not a public access entry way. We actually refer to it as the skate lobby. So, you've got the UAH locker room is down there, Havoc Hockey room and staff, so that's really who used that area," said Nielsen.

The power did go off for a couple seconds on that side of the building after the collapse, but Nielsen said she’s just thankful that no one was injured and crews were able to respond quickly.

"Everything happened so quickly, but everyone responded very rapidly to be on site, get the guests out safely from the arena, make sure number one, there was nobody involved, no injuries involved," said Nielsen.

Nielsen said she does not foresee this area impacting future events the Von Braun Center is holding this week, but the Budlight Cafe above the awning will be closed while inspectors assess the damage.

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