The second-story deck of an oceanfront condo on Ocean Isle Beach collapsed on Tuesday night, injuring 20 people and sending one person on a flight to a hospital in Wilmington.
Several of the injuries included broken bones, but authorities say none of them were life threatening. There were about 25 people on the deck when it suddenly gave way and fell 12 feet onto the concrete patio below. The condo is a private residence and is being rented out by a couple.
Officials are investigating what caused the collapse, but say it appears that there was simply too much weight on it. Town Mayor Debbie Smith said she's been fighting for higher building standards on oceanfront decks, but local government has its hands tied by what the state dictates as safe.
Earlier this year, a much bigger deck collapse sent 100 people into the chilly waters of Biscayne Bay as they cheered on the NBA finals at a Florida restaurant. Luckily, no major injuries were reported.
“That was a big gathering watching the Miami Heat and Spurs,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino. “There were a lot of TVs and everybody was in celebration and it was loud. So when it started happening, some people didn’t even realize what was going on.”
There's been no word yet of the legal ramifications of the North Carolina deck collapse.