3 hurt, including child after metal beam falls at Iowa City elem - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

3 hurt, including child after metal beam falls at Iowa City elementary school

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Three people are hurt after a metal beam collapsed at a new Iowa City elementary school Monday afternoon.

The accident happened on the first day of classes at Alexander Elementary when a parent and his 5-year-old were walking through the back doors of the school.

School officials say a medal mullion - the middle piece dividing two doors – somehow came loose, fell down, striking the dad and daughter in the head, and smashing a teacher's foot.

“It's called a removable mullion, it's not a metal beam,” says Duane VanHemert, Director of Physical Plant at the Iowa City Community School District. “A beam's a term for structural piece of steel. This is not structural its just for security purposes only.”

VanHemert says the removable 20 pound piece of steel fell off the doorway and he's not sure why or how.

Construction work is still being done in and around Alexander Elementary because the school just opened this school year.

District leaders say school workers were moving equipment and furniture into the new building so they removed the mullion to have more room to carry big, heavy items inside.

VanHemert says the metal piece either wasn't re-installed properly or there's a defect.

“Well there's so many moving pieces to a building its almost impossible to be a 100 percent guaranteed, but we're going to review this door and all the other doors in the building this week to make sure this isn't something that will reoccur,” said VanHemert.

Thursday, the district will meet with contractors, architectures and engineers to review the metal door piece and all the doors at Alexander so ensure something like this won't happened again.

Police say the parent, child, and teacher are OK.

The parent did have a gash on his head, but all three were treated at the school.

“It is isolated,” said VanHemert. “We have hundred of these doors in the district and they're safe and we've never had a incident. We don't expect it to happen again because we will make sure it is solved properly.”

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