CNN US News

Quake stops Indians-Mariners
game in Seattle

fans leaving the stadium

May 3, 1996
Web posted at: 1 a.m. EDT

SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) -- A minor earthquake in Seattle Thursday night brought a Kingdome baseball game to a halt and prompted officials to send the fans home. The quake started at 9:04 p.m. (PDT) and lasted about 30 seconds, causing the Kingdome press box to sway back and forth but leaving no evident damage to the stadium or its occupants.

Spectators began filing out as Kingdome officials announced, "The game is being postponed until 5:35 tomorrow afternoon. At this time we ask you to proceed to the nearest exit." The game between the Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians was in the bottom of the seventh inning.

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CNN's Jack Hamann was at a nearby restaurant when the quake hit. "The ground began to shake quite noticeably back and forth, all of the lights where we are were vacating, floating back and forth. There was nothing, at least in our area, that was damaged."

He said there was a general concern about safety in the Kingdome because some tiles fell from its roof last year. "In particular, the owner of the Seattle Seahawks national football team has said that he does not want to put his team there any longer because he's concerned about its safety."

Hamann said local news stations were scrambling to get information, but had no immediate reports of damage. Nor did local electricity provider Puget Power have any reports of outages.

The University of Washington Seismology Laboratory gave a preliminary magnitude of 4.8, with an epicenter about 20 miles northeast of Seattle. The quake was reportedly felt as far north as British Columbia.

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