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At game’s end, 2 Bruins fans drop 6 feet with floor

By Eric Moskowitz
Globe Staff / May 29, 2011

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In the final seconds of Friday night’s game at TD Garden, two Bruins fans were jumping and cheering when the floor underfoot gave way, plunging them into a cavity beneath their seats.

The fall, which police said was about 6 feet, left Dave Mandel and Mike Lopez scraped, bruised, and startled, but they landed on their feet.

“Everybody was going crazy because they were so excited, and with probably three seconds, five seconds left, we just like plummeted,’’ said Mandel, who came from New York for the night to attend the game with Lopez, a childhood friend from Sudbury. “Scary is really the word.’’

The two men, both 29, were sitting in Section 329, Row 6, an unusual row in which the tiered flooring is not permanent concrete. The row is known as “infill seating’’ and is retractable, said Tricia McCorkle, a Garden spokeswoman who confirmed that the floor there gave way.

“We’re looking into it,’’ McCorkle said.

Several fans helped Mandel and Lopez hoist themselves back up, they said.

“It was so surreal,’’ said Lopez, who lives in Norwood. “Everybody around us was screaming, ‘Get out, get out!’ ’’

Officer Eddy Chrispin said a Boston police report shows that officers responded at about 11 p.m. and interviewed the two victims, one of whom complained of right thigh pain, the other of left ankle and knee pain. Emergency medical workers treated the men at the scene, he said.

Mandel said he thought the flooring should support the weight of two fans hopping for joy as the team clinched a Game 7 victory in the conference finals — especially given that the seats next to them had just been vacated, lessening the load.

“It easily could’ve been worse, if somebody falls and hits their head and gets a concussion, or you break your wrist,’’ Mandel said. “We got lucky that we weren’t badly hurt.’’

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