CLINTON, N.C. (WRAL/WMBF) - A camera inside the gymnasium at Union Intermediate School in Sampson County captured the moment the roof collapsed Monday, forcing students to run to safety.
The video from WRAL in Raleigh was released Tuesday by Sampson County Schools, shows students playing and sitting on the gym floor. Then, they run to the other side of the building as the roof falls in and winds gust.
Debris scattered everywhere, and part of an exhaust fan fell from the ceiling. Heavy wind continued to blow as basketballs rolled on the floor.
The National Weather Service said a “water-loaded microburst” was over the school around 2 p.m. when the roof collapsed.
A microburst, or a downburst, is a strong surge of air that spreads in all directions upon hitting the ground.
The same system in Sampson County produced a tornado that tore through the parking lot of Loris High School.
There were 21 students in the gym at the time, officials said. Three students were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, and they had all been released by Tuesday afternoon.
The school was closed Tuesday as crews cleaned up debris.