NFL preseason was literally painful to watch Thursday night as three fans suffered non-life-threatening injuries when a bolt from the Lucas Oil Stadium retractable roof fell into a seating section.
The plan for the Indianapolis Colts-Cincinnati Bengals game was for the roof and window to be opened at halftime. It was closed prior to kickoff due to 90-degree temperatures.
But when the roof was activated and the panels began to move, the part fell. Twitter was instantly abuzz with first-hand accounts of the accident, which affected fans in section 248. One fan tweeted that he observed a woman led away by medical personnel while holding a towel against a head wound.
After the game, Capital Improvement Board executive director Barney Levengood released this statement:
“With approximately two minutes remaining at half time at the Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals game this evening at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, there was an occurrence with the movement of the retractable roof. The roof was in process of being opened for the second half of the preseason game. A bolt from the fixed structure sheared and dropped into seating section 248 (located in the northwest corner of the lower seating bowl). The movement of the roof was stopped immediately and stadium authorities were notified.
“On-site medical personnel deemed all injuries to be non-life threatening. One female and one male were attended to by I.U. Health medical personnel and then transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. The third person was a male who was treated and released on site.”
The CIB, not the Colts, operate the stadium in downtown Indianapolis. Lucas Oil Stadium opened in 2008 at a cost of about $720 million and has hosted Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 as well as NCAA Final Fours in 2010 and last April.
The Bengals won the game, 9-6, to conclude preseason play for both teams.
There’s time to ensure the problem is fixed. The Colts don’t play their regular-season home opener until Sept. 21 against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
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