SOUTH CAROLINA – Vermont Senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was injured this weekend after being hit by flying glass from a nearby ceiling that shattered over his head. He was seen for minor lacerations on his forehead and received seven stitches before being released with a clean bill of health.
The ceiling had been installed especially for the presidential primaries, and the men who designed it claim that it should have been unbreakable, however a bizarre sequence of events led to the destruction of the ceiling in the atrium where the Democratic hopefuls were to meet, ultimately causing the injuries to Senator Sanders.
Sen. Sanders had arrived early and was joined by Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. John Delaney (D-MD). No issues were noticeable at that time with the glass ceiling overhead. There was some structural tension when South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg walked in, but experts believe that this was due to non-ceiling related issues. The trouble began when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) walked in holding a large tray of leis which she had planned to drape over her fellow candidates as a sign of friendship and welcome.
Gabbard had just entered the atrium when she heard Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) walk in behind her. Rep. Gabbard turn around suddenly to greet the Senator, causing several of the leis to slip off her tray and onto the floor. Sen. Harris was carrying a surfboard, apparently just for decoration, which she attempted to set down behind her so she could help pick up the leis. Unfortunately the surfboard knocked into the ankles of Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) who was just walking in at the time.
Sen. Gillibrand, who had been carrying several wooden stakes that she planned on attaching campaign signs onto later, fell forward onto the surfboard, which then flew up and knocked Sen. Harris sideways into Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Sen. Klobuchar jumped clear of the toppling senators and tried to catch the wooden stakes, which were now flying through the air, and managed to grab two of them, jamming them down as she fell, into the tiled floor of the lobby atrium where the chaos was taking place.
Although there is video of the incident, it still remains unclear how exactly the leis became looped around the stakes, or which candidate last had their hands on the surfboard, which flew out of the group of women on the floor like a slingshot and shattered the glass ceiling directly over the head of Sen. Sanders. The surfboard appeared to be unharmed.
Sen. Sanders was able to remove 99% of the glass himself, but says that it was the final 1% that gave him most of the trouble. All of the glass has now been removed and he is not expected to suffer any lasting effects.
The female candidates issued a joint statement of apology after the incident occurred, claiming that they all took full responsibility for the ceiling, and they regret any injuries suffered by Sen. Sanders. They insisted that it was a freak accident and, as such, they cannot guarantee that it will not happen again. They stressed that the safest thing to do in the future would be to stay out of their way, in case anything else topples in their wake.