Police in North Carolina say that a deck collapse resulted in 21 people being rushed to local hospitals near Ocean Isle Beach this week. The severity of the collapse and resulting injuries prompted the mayor to ask locals for prayers for the family staying at the vacation rental.
Police say earlier this week the second floor condo deck at the beach rental had about 25 people standing on it when it suddenly, and without warning, collapsed. The fall sent almost everyone plummeting two stories down which led to a variety of critical injuries.
More than a dozen of the victims were rushed to a hospital in Myrtle Beach while one person was taken by helicopter to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Seven others were taken to the Brunswick Medical Center for treatment of their less severe injuries. Authorities say some of those who fell have suffered broken arms, and legs as well as broken ankles, deep gashes and cuts as well as more minor injuries.
The severity of the accident at a private rental property on Ocean Isle Beach has prompted locals to call for tougher building codes for decks. Given the volume of visitors the area sees each year it’s unacceptable that guests could be placed in such serious danger and the hope is more stringent codes could stop such a problem from happening in the future. The mayor, Debbie Smith, said that all oceanfront decks in the state need to be held to a higher standard than existing North Carolina law requires.
Though no one knows the cause of the deck collapse, this situation is an example of just how important it is to stay on top of property maintenance and inspections. If the upkeep of a home or condo is ignored, terrible accidents like this are bound to happen. Nearly 2,000 people suffered serious injuries and 30 people died in deck collapse accidents between 2000 and 2006, according to data gathered by the North American Deck and Railing Association.
Decks that are poorly built, have rotten wood or have been eaten by bugs can become weak over time. When people are gathered on the deck, like during a party or barbeque, the supports can break and the deck will collapse. As the case makes clear, deck collapses can be deadly and almost surely lead to serious injuries. If you or a family member has been the victim of a deck collapse or any other serious accident, please contact the North Carolina personal injury lawyers at our firm. We will work hard to build the best case possible by reconstructing the accident, getting expert opinions and reviewing your medical records.
Here's a Google Map showing the location of the terrible oceanfront deck collapse: