updated 7/5/2007 12:34:41 PM ET 2007-07-05T16:34:41

A 150-year-old staircase collapsed at Ireland's Natural History Museum on Thursday, injuring a group of elementary school teachers — 11 of whom were hospitalized, officials said.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

The 21 teachers on a "science appreciation course" were touring the museum when a limestone staircase fractured and crumbled from their weight, Culture Minister Seamus Brennan told the Irish parliament.

The victims fell less than a story to the ground floor, Dublin fire department spokesman Greg O'Dwyer said.

The victims were hospitalized at three Dublin hospitals with injuries that did not appear life-threatening. Several other teachers were treated at the scene for minor cuts, scrapes and bruises.

The building will be closed to both visitors and staff for several weeks while health and safety officials inspect it for other potential dangers, said Pat Wallace, director of the National Museums of Ireland.

The staircase dates back to the construction of the building, which opened in 1857, making it the oldest purpose-built museum in Ireland.

The museum displays about 10,000 animals, including examples of long-extinct species, from a wider zoological collection of 2 million specimens dating back to the 18th century.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments