DESTIN, Fla., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A conductor at the University of West Florida who fell 14 feet from a stage suffered multiple injuries but said his accident could have been worse.
David Ott, of Destin, Fla., had just completed conducting the debut Friday of his original opera, "The Widow's Lantern," when he stepped into what he thought was the orchestra pit at stage level -- but which was actually the pit's concrete basement, nwfdailynew.com reported.
"I landed flat on my back on the concrete floor," he said. "I was below the orchestra pit. My fear was that the orchestra pit would be lowered onto me."
Emergency medical technicians lifted the former music director and conductor of the Philharmonic of Northwest Florida into a basket and then onto a stretcher in an operation that lasted close to an hour and a half, he said.
Ott suffered nine broken vertebrae, a dislocated shoulder and a damaged ankle, the news service reported.
Ott said his doctors were surprised he had not suffered any internal injuries.