N.C. Deck Collapse Raises Safety Questions [Video]

An Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. deck collapse in a private residence around 8:15 PM Tuesday night resulted in at least 21 injured people being taken to local hospitals. The raw footage up top from BBC Live was apparently taken with a call phone camera by one of the people present at the disaster, but it gives you an idea of the hectic scene in the aftermath of the private condo’s collapse.

NBC affiliate WECT reported that over a dozen agencies ended up responding to the North Carolina disaster that resulted from around 25 people all crowding onto the deck for a picture. When the second-story structure collapsed, they fell to the concrete patio below.

The structure had last been inspected a decade ago in 2003 when the condo was built. Under N.C. law, rental buildings like the beach condo aren’t allowed to be inspected again unless someone complains or there is more construction work done on the site.

Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith spoke out: “[T]hese oceanfront decks need to be held to a higher standard than North Carolina laws require.” However, she said that current state law didn’t allow individual townships to pass stricter laws than the state itself demanded.

A report from the Wilmington Star Line News said that at least one victim had to be flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Their reporter spoke with a nurse on vacation in the area who assisted on the scene.

None of the injuries were life-threatening, but they ranged in severity from minor cuts to serious leg and hip fractures.

The group was a large family gathering and included people of all ages ranging from an infant to the elderly.

Here is WECT’s video coverage of the N.C. deck collapse. As you can see, the damage they photographed is substantial, providing extra emphasis to the mayor’s belief that tourist condos like this one should be subject to more stringent standards:

The questions probably gain even more currency because the N.C. deck collapse comes so soon after a Miami restaurant deck collapse hurt dozens.

[construction debris still photo by FEMA via Wikimedia]