Twenty-one people were injured Tuesday when a second-floor deck collapsed in a rental apartment in Ocean Isle beach, North Carolina. Fortunately, most of the injured people only suffered from minor cuts and bruises and, of course shock.
The deck collapse is already raising major questions as to the structural safety of buildings built before safety standard were toughened. Last month, saw a similar incident at a building in the Cherryville neighborhood nearby.
The deck collapse was reported at around 8 p.m. The people renting the house were only renting the property as a vacation spot for a week.
One of the more seriously injured victims of the collapse was airlifted to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The rest of the inured were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Debbie Smith, the Mayor of Ocean Isle Beach, spoke to the observer about what she sees as human error, explaining that the decks are not designed to carry the weight of 30 people at a time, during parties or family get-togethers:
“I do not think the N.C. building code anticipates 20 to 30 people in a small deck at one time. It happens often for photo ops with large families at the beach.”
When the emergency 911 call came in the girl who made the call said to the operator: “Our porch at our beach house just fell thru. We were all taking a family picture and it just fell and a couple people are hurt. It just fell.”
The family had apparently gone to the deck to take a picture when it collapsed beneath their feet. The people fell many feet to the concrete patio on the first floor.
What do you think of the latest N.C Deck collapse? Did you read about the recent similar incident in Cherryville? Do you think that decks should be designed to carry the weight of 30 people or do you thin people need to consider the decks they are partying on? let us hear your comments below.