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Seniors evade falling roof

EDMONTON, Alberta, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- About 150 people narrowly avoided injury Tuesday when the snow-covered roof of a seniors recreation center in Edmonton, Alberta, collapsed, officials said.

Among those scurrying to safety at the Northgate Lions Senior Citizens Recreation Center were 30 members of a choir, who were rushed out of a gymnasium when staff noticed ceiling tiles coming loose and the roof starting to bow.

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The roof came down almost immediately after everyone in the gym and the center's multipurpose rooms were evacuated, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

"People had to run out without their coats and without their purses in some cases," Rob Smythe of the city's Community Services Department told the CBC.

Edmonton has experienced a relatively snowy January. An official said all city buildings would be checked to guard against another roof collapse.

An official said the city will now examine all city buildings with flat roofs to ensure there is no danger of another collapse.

The snow-covered roof of an automotive shop in Spruce Grove fell in Friday. A man and his 5-year-old son survived that incident, the CBC said.

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