Cumberland Times-News

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December 6, 2012

Concrete block falls from ceiling at Washington Middle

Teacher, students escape injuries

CUMBERLAND — A concrete block became dislodged from its cement and fell from above the suspended ceiling in a second-floor classroom at Washington Middle School on Wednesday, according to the Allegany County Board of Education.

Although a teacher and students were in the classroom, no one was injured when the block fell in a corner where bookshelves and a cabinet are kept, board officials said.

Maintenance crews who responded immediately discovered that at some time after the original construction of the building, cap blocks were vertically installed on top of the walls between the classrooms, apparently for sound-reduction between rooms.

The crews removed all the blocks on the wall where the block had fallen. Upon examination of the rest of the building, two more areas with the same installation of blocks above the ceiling grid were identified. As a precaution, crews removed those blocks Wednesday evening and crews will return to the building to re-examine areas and take additional measures as needed.

The removal of the blocks will in no way compromise the structure, and the building has been determined to be safe for continued use, the board announced.

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