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Coach among injured in Cowboys' roof collapse

DALLAS Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis broke his back and 11 more were injured when winds just shy of tornado strength ripped through the roof of the team's indoor practice facility yesterday.

The storm hit while 27 rookie players were going through workouts. There were about 70 people in the facility, counting coaches, other team personnel and media, officials said.

Ten of the injured were taken by emergency vehicles. Two others went to hospitals on their own. Names and details of their injuries were not released due to privacy issues.

Former coach Dan Reeves, DeCamillis' father-in-law, said the first-year Dallas assistant has a couple of broken vertebrae in his lower back.

Reeves added DeCamillis probably will have surgery. The coach was seen being removed on a stretcher wearing a neck brace.

"This worked out very, very well from a medical point of view," said Dr. Paul Pepe, head of emergency medical services for Dallas County Hopsital. "Right now, I think we don't have anybody who is in a life-threatening situation."

The six-year-old white, tent-like building is large enough to be seen from miles (kilometers) away.

"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 (103 kph) just before it struck the Cowboys facility, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Harris in Fort Worth.

"We're lucky no one got electrocuted with all the water in the building," head coach Wade Phillips said. "A couple of players had minor injuries, but they were all right."


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