Ceska Trebova, East Bohemia, Jan 15 (CTK) – The roof of a new sports arena in Ceska Trebova collapsed during a floorball tournament before 21:00 on Saturday, but no one was seriously injured in the accident, Renata Typlova, chairwoman of the local floorball club who co-organised the event, told CTK on Sunday.

There were some 80 people in the arena, floorball players, organisers and the audience, before the accident, but all of them managed to escape in time though the roof crashed and hit the ground quite quickly, she said.

The police are investigating the cause of the accident.

“The structure started to collapse gradually from the back on the floor. The beams were falling down… It collapsed like a house of cards. It went quickly, but luckily there was space to escape,” Typlova said.

Only two boys, participants in the floorball tournament, aged around 16, suffered light injuries when running away from the arena. They were treated in a surgery ward in the nearby hospital in Usti nad Orlici, Typlova said.

“We first heard a sound like knocking up a ball. Then, all of a sudden, a big blow sounded and I saw sawdust or something similar pouring out of the ceiling. We started running, it was awfully quick,” an 18-year-old man, one of the organisers who was sitting in the middle of the hall, told CTK.

The police and the Pardubice Region will have expert opinions worked out to find the cause of the accident.

An expert will examine the scene of accident. “We will wait for the result of this expert opinion,” local police spokeswoman Lenka Vilimkova told CTK this afternoon.

The police secured the roof after the collapse. Firefighters arrived there with a high-lift truck as well.

It is not clear why the roof collapsed all of a sudden, the arena’s designer, Tomas Fris, told reporters on Sunday, adding that all construction standards were observed.

There was a 25-cm layer of snow on the roof before the accident. However, Fris said the snow could not have caused the collapse.

Tomas Zavrel, general director of the Profistav Litomysl firm that built the arena, also told reporters that for the moment it cannot be said what had caused the roof collapse.

The sports arena with the ground plan of 51 x 26 metres, which also offers dressing rooms for up to 72 athletes and showers, was built by the Pardubice Region for 58 million crowns and approved for use on January 2.

It is situated in the complex of vocational schools in Ceske Trebova. Apart from students, local sport clubs were to use it.

The floorball tournament, in which eight teams of boys aged 15-16 years from several regions participated, was the first event held in the newly opened arena.

The tournament had to be cancelled since no other suitable facility was found in the region, Typlova said.

The region also cancelled the ceremonial opening of the arena scheduled for this afternoon, its spokesman Dominik Bartak told CTK on Sunday.

Pardubice Regional Governor Martin Netolicky told reporters on Sunday that the region would have the whole project from its first study to the approval assessed.

He estimated the damage at dozens of millions of crowns.

The works to remove the roof debris will start as soon as possible, Netolicky said, adding that he would like the sports arena to start serving the public again this year.