CLEVELAND - They were standing in line for lunch when ceiling plaster from their school cafeteria came crashing down on them. One of the students injured in Wednesday’s collapse at a Cleveland school talked to Fox 8 about the harrowing ordeal.
Three girls were taken to the hospital, but were not seriously injured.
"We heard squeaking and so, I was about to move away, but then my friend Kimberly looked up and it was already coming down," said Anysia Burns, 13.
A ten foot section of plaster from the ceiling in the cafeteria of Louis Agassiz School on Cleveland's west side fell. Burns says around 1:45 p.m., she, her 15-year old sister Antaya, and a 15-year old classmate were among middle school students standing in line, waiting to get their lunch.
"It hit her face and then I was trying to move away and it hit my shoulders and I couldn't find my sister and she was on the other side of the wall," Burns said.
The 13-year-old says teachers immediately rushed to get students out of the cafeteria and help the injured girls.
"She was leaning against the wall and she looked dazed and so she dropped to the floor and I guess she passed out," she recalled.
"Nobody wants to get that call that something's going on with their kids and you're not right there," said her mother Chisa Smith.
All three girls were taken to Fairview Hospital. Chisa Smith, also rushed there, frantically worried about two of her daughters.
"All the bad things that were in my head, it was no where near that bad, so I was cool, but Nysia did end up with a strained shoulder and a small hairline fracture, and Antaya actually had a mild concussion," said Smith.
Smith and her daughter praise the school principal, who they say contacted parents, kept students calm and visited them in the hospital. Anysia says she was upset that she missed her school lunch favorite...Sloppy Joe.
"So I got graham crackers, pretzels and Gatorade," she said.
Her mother says until now, she had never been concerned about the condition of the 87-year-old school, built in 1929.
"Is it time for a new school or is it minor repairs that need to be done, but with a building that's almost 90 years old, you figure it needs some TLC," Smith said.
Smith says both of her daughters will probably stay out of school at least through the rest of the week.
Classes were held at the school Thursday, but school district officials say students will not eat lunch inside the cafeteria until structural engineers consider it safe.