More than 20 people were injured when a deck collapsed in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina Tuesday night, reports WECT News 6.
One of the people staying at the house said everyone went out onto the second-story deck to take a picture around 8:15 p.m. when the incident occurred. The wood buckled about 25 people fell onto a concrete patio beneath them. According to Anthony Marzano, Director of Emergency Services, 21 people were taken to the hospital.
“Our porch at our beach house just fell thru,” a girl at the scene said on a 911 call. “We were all taking a family picture and it just fell and a couple people are hurt. It just fell.”
Several children were involved in the accident as well as adults. Luckily, none of the people taken to area hospitals had life threatening injuries. Amy Myers from Brunswick Novant Medical Center said that five of the victims taken to that hospital were treated and released, while two others still remain hospitalized. The other victims were taken to either Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach or New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.
The house is a private residence and was being rented out.
An inspector went to the home on Wednesday to survey the damage and said rusty nails could be the cause of the collapse, if not the fact that it was overloaded with people. The home was last inspected in 2003 when it was constructed.
Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith says always believed there should be tougher standards on oceanfront decks.
“I’ve actually had a long-standing opinion of this situation,” Smith said. “These oceanfront decks need to be held to a higher standard than North Carolina laws require.”