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Powerful winds cause part of Montreal's Maurice Richard Arena to collapse


Staff writers
August 31, 2012 — A significant portion of the roof blew off the top of Montreal’s Maurice Richard Arena on Thursday, reportedly by the force of powerful winds.


Montreal's mayor expressed relief Friday that the collapse of an arena roof did not result in any injuries.
Montreal's mayor expressed relief Friday that the collapse of an arena roof did not result in any injuries.

Official's say a wide piece -- about 30-metres by 20-metres -- of the arena's roof was blown off by heavy winds Thursday night, and sent large pieces of debris flying around  the street like tumbleweed. Luckily no injuries were reported.

"We can be thankful that nature didn't cause a more tragic incident,"  said Mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay.

Officials say an investigation is underway to help determine what caused parts of the structure to peel away. 

A metro station next to the arena remained closed Friday morning. 

The rink, adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, has served as the home of Canada’s national short-track speedskating team. Sources say some team members rushed to the site to witness the damage first-hand. 

The arena has a capacity of 4750 and is perhaps best known locally for the statue of Richard in front of the building. It opened in the early 1960's and was a venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics.

With files from The Canadian Press

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