Super Bowl: Falling ice injures at least six at Cowboys Stadium [with video]
A Super Bowl safety committee official said at least six people have been injured, one critically, by falling ice at Cowboys Stadium, which will host the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Arnie Valdez said one person has been critically injured and taken to a hospital. He didn't immediately know the condition of the others.
He said he had no information on why those injured were at the stadium.
“The ice and snow melting off of the Cowboys Stadium roof has caused several sliding snow falls onto the plazas. A total of seven people were injured,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.
McCarthy added that all seven people went to hospital for attention -- five of them in their own cars.
The NFL spokesman said that none of the injuries was life-threatening and that the two people who were taken to hospital by ambulance were suffering from a head trauma injury and a shoulder injury, respectively.
“The person with the head injury is in a stable condition and is being kept in for observation,” said McCarthy.
“We are continuing to evaluate snow on the roof.
The ice reportedly began melting and falling on the northeast side of the stadium, Arlington fire officials said.
“It started falling throughout the day, causing minor injuries,” said Lt. Pedro Arevalo, a fire department spokesman.
He said ice falling from the roof of Cowboys Stadium was not something authorities had dealt with in the past and therefore wasn't something they had planned for.
“All this stuff just keeps getting thrown at us, but we've been prepared and we're ready for these types of situations,” Arevalo said, “other than the ice, that's one thing we didn't take into consideration.”
He added that authorities are confident they now have the potentially dangerous areas of the stadium blocked off and that people can get in and out of the stadium safely.
The accident forced officials to shut all but one entrance to the stadium.
“All stadium entrances have been closed except for the truck tunnel, which is away from the building by a very safe distance,” McCarthy said. “All workers and visitors will now enter and exit through the tunnel until further notice.”
The National Weather Service had issued a winter storm warning Friday for Arlington, home of the $1.3-billion stadium where the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers will play this weekend for the NFL title.
Forecasters expect a mostly sunny Super Bowl Sunday with highs in the 40s, and organizers said last week that the stadium's retractable roof will be closed.
The latest punch of unusual cold and snow hit a city still struggling to recover from Tuesday's ice storm, part of a massive system that paralyzed a large swath of the country with blizzards, thunder and bone-chilling temperatures this week.
More information to come at latimes.com/sports.
-- Associated Press