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Western Minn. Elementary School Roof Collapses

Updated: 06/30/2014 10:07 AM
Created: 06/29/2014 5:30 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

An elementary school in western Minnesota will need to be repaired after its roof collapsed Friday night.

The incident happened at St. Mary's Catholic School in Morris as heavy storms moved through the area. The school is part of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The water discharge system malfunctioned because a wine bottle was plugging a drainage hole, officials said. The weight of the backed up water caused the roof to buckle overnight on Friday, opening a large 15 foot by 20 foot hole for water to pour through.

Officials were unsure if the wine bottle was intentionally placed or if it was in the drain on accident. Police could be seen investigating at the school Sunday evening.

After the collapse, the first floor flooded and water was able to run down stairwells and damage walls.

No one was in the building during the collapse and no injuries were reported. The school is out for the summer, but St. Mary's does hold camps.

A tarp has been placed over the hole. On Monday, crews will begin cleaning up the grounds and building. The project manager told officials cleanup would take a week.

From there, construction, electrical, plumbing and other contractors will begin to repair the damage, officials said.

The project manager estimates the building will be finished in time for school to start in September. The 100th anniversary for the building will also take place that month.

This photo from the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Facebook shows the gaping hole left after the roof collapsed overnight on Friday.
Photo: Facebook/St. Mary's School

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