School of Mines making changes to parade float inspections after 10 students hospitalized

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- Colorado School of Mines is making changes to its float inspections after one of the two-story floats collapsed over the weekend, during the school’s homecoming parade.

Ten students were injured, none of which were life-threatening.

“It was rough to hear, and I was really worried about everybody. Hearing about the injuries and certain severities and what happened, it got to me for sure,” said freshman Madeline Jaeger, who is friends with some of the students that were on the float. “I was holding back tears in the cafeteria when I first heard what happened."

Students said things started to settle down on campus, come Monday.

“I know people were definitely shaken up after it, but I think everyone’s kind of getting back to normal now,” Molly Stevanak told FOX31, while walking on campus.

As of Monday afternoon, one of those students was still in the hospital recovering from surgery.

“With as many people as they had, we’re lucky people didn’t get more hurt, or that more people didn’t get hurt,” said Jaeger.

School officials agree.

“Our #1 concern is the safety of our students,” said Vice President of Student Services Dan Fox.

Fox says the Homecoming Parade will be noticeably different next year.

“As we look at those guidelines—I can guarantee you, there will not be 2-story structures any longer,” Fox said.

Currently, all floats must pass an inspection by the Homecoming committee before entering the parade.

“There’s some guidelines and the floats are inspected visually in advance to make sure that they’re stable. We provide a trailer for which the floats are constructed on, and make sure that they’re appropriate as well for the theme that’s going on,” Fox explained. “But we need to do better there. We have to be better at that."

Fox says that will mean better guidelines, especially when it comes to the size of the float—and the number of students allowed on it.

The Golden Police Department estimates 30 students were on the float when it tipped over.

“I don’t believe they’re pulling to a tape measure and measuring that," Fox said. "The length of whatever float that will be built moving forward—the height, all those things, will be definitely part of the process moving forward.”

In the coming months, he says the school will look at regulations across the country, to help mold their own.

Their top priority right now, though, is making sure everyone affected by the accident makes a full recovery.

“We really want to make sure we’re there for our students—not just today and tomorrow—but next week and a month from now," Fox said. "It will take some time for everybody to be able to move forward.”

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