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School gym roof collapses under snow

A tragedy was narrowly averted in St Gallen when the snow-covered roof of a vocational school gymnasium collapsed shortly before early morning classes on Tuesday.

No one was injured after the collapse of the sports facility, which was empty at the time of the accident. It was constructed in 2006 at a cost of SFr11 million ($9.46 million).

The cause of the accident, in which a wall also caved in, has not yet been established.

"We were very lucky," the school's principal, Lukas Reichle, said after the accident. "A great weight was lifted off my heart when I heard that no one was injured."

Three-quarters of an hour later there would have been 60 to 80 young people attending a gymnastic class in the hall.

As a precautionary measure, snow has been cleared from the roofs of all public halls in the canton of St Gallen in eastern Switzerland.

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