Inspection begins following Propst Arena damage at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center

More investigation into the Propst Arena structure collapse

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Engineers, building inspectors and architects were busy Wednesday, April 28th at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.

That’s because an outdoor roof at Propst Arena collapsed on Tuesday. The portion of the arena that collapsed was an addition built in 2010. It took less than 10 seconds for damage to be done.


”There were no indications, no signs that we were aware of prior to that happening. There was an eyewitness actually who was inside the skate lobby hanging out and he saw it and he said within a matter of 10 seconds it had all fell,” said VBC spokesperson Samantha Nielsen.

It almost looks like an earthquake hit Propst Arena.

According to initial reports from building inspectors, it appears there is no structural damage to the facility, but there is more damage than meets the eye.

So what about all of the water bystanders saw spewing out pipes bursting from the building?

“There’s a sprinkler system in that same area, so that was damaged and that set off the fire alarm. I’m not exactly sure what caused the power outage, but it was contained to just that area of the building but it did affect credit card machines and different things,” said Nielsen.

The collapse happened just a couple of minutes before Tuesday’s Huntsville Havoc game. As a safety measure, everyone inside evacuated the building and the game started 30 minutes late with fans still in attendance.

Employees say the situation could’ve been a lot worse.

“We are at reduced capacity, it was a beautiful day it wasn’t raining, so people weren’t trying to take cover under the awning. The game was close to starting so most of the people are already inside of the building,” said Nielsen.

The cause of the collapse and the cost to fix it are still unknown.

Despite the damage, employees at the VBC say they don’t expect any events to be canceled.

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