IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis was among 12 people injured Saturday when the roof of the team's indoor practice facility collapsed in a storm during a rookie minicamp, officials said at a news conference.
Witnesses said lights started flickering and shaking minutes before the collapse, prompting players, coaches, staff members and reporters to vacate the building. Several people were trying to exit the facility when the roof collapsed.
"I saw it coming down and didn't have time to react," secondary coach Dave Campo said. "I hit the ground and was able to get back up."
The storm was producing winds measured at 64 mph just before it struck the Cowboys facility, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Harris in Fort Worth. Power was out at the team's Valley Ranch headquarters.
Been watching the news all day, the scene at the facility was pretty crazy...I literally live a few feet away and can see it from my apartment, helicopters, ambulances, they are lucky being that the entire facility collapsed on the players and didn't kill anyone.
Hopefully the minor injuries end up being just that, it's been a crazy day, storms all over the place.
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It was probably just the way the wind made it appear, but that facitily didn't look to be much more than a tent. Is that normal for teams to have such a flimsy 'indoor' practice facility? Thankfully, nobody was severely injured, not to downplay the broken vertebre that Spagnola(?) received.
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Cowboys scouting assistant paralyzed after practice facility collapse Associated Press
IRVING, Texas -- A Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant was permanently paralyzed from the waist down after his spine was severed during the collapse of the team's tent-like practice structure in a severe storm.
The team announced Rich Behm was in stable condition at Parkland Hospital on Sunday after surgery to stabilize a fracture to the thoracic spine.
The 33-year-old Behm was among a dozen people hurt in the accident Saturday, and was one of three Cowboys staffers who remained hospitalized.
Joe DeCamillis, 43, the team's special teams coach, sustained a fracture of one of his cervical vertebrae without paralysis. He was in stable condition and scheduled for surgery Monday.
Assistant athletic trainer Greg Gaither, 35, had surgery Saturday night to repair a fracture to the tibia and fibula in his right leg. He is expected to be released from the hospital later this week.
"To the Behm family we extend our love, comfort, and the full support of every person and resource within the organization," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "Rich is a courageous member of our family and someone for whom we care deeply. We ask for all friends and fans of the Dallas Cowboys to join us in embracing him and his family with their thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time."
Behm has a brother who also works in the Cowboys organization.
Jones, who was attending the Kentucky Derby on Saturday when the accident occurred, didn't stop to talk to media outside the team's Valley Ranch headquarters when he arrived or left.
After arriving at the facility Sunday morning, Jones surveyed the mangled mess. He had a somber look on his face and his hands tucked in his pockets.
Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said Jones spent "considerable time" Saturday night and Sunday visiting those in the hospital.