HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Police say 30 students were taken to five area hospitals Saturday night after a deck collapsed at an off-campus party near Trinity College.
“It’s not something we face regularly but we do train for it,” said Captain Executive Officer Raul Ortiz of the Hartford Fire Department.
According to officers, the third floor deck collapsed onto the second floor deck below, which then fell onto the bottom deck.
“All three decks were occupied during this party. It’s your typical college party with a lot of kids and it fell,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.
Police say more than 50 college students were at the off-campus party, though not all of them go to Trinity College. Students tell News 8 the building is a fraternity house. They say when the decks collapsed, the college party turned to chaos.
“It was just a lot of screaming, a lot of girls screaming,” said Brian Post, a Trinity College student. “A lot of people were just very traumatized.”
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said there were dozens of injuries, but no one was critically injured. Some suffered broken bones, others had cuts and bruises.
“Tonight, a deck on a residential building near the Trinity Campus collapsed during a large student party. There are dozens of injuries, but we are very lucky that there were no fatalities and no known critical injuries from what could have been a truly tragic incident. Hartford Firefighters and Police were on the scene within minutes of the accident. I commend all the first responders who worked quickly and professionally to identify the injured students and get them transported safely to local hospitals.”
Trinity College staff went to the hospitals with the students and helped them get in touch with their families. Staff also provided students transportation back to campus.
Trinity College said a majority of the students have been treated and discharged by hospitals, and staff will remain in direct contact with students who are still undergoing treatment.
While this event is upsetting, we are grateful that none of the injuries are life-threatening.
Yellow police tape blocked off the yard for much of Sunday. Five people were displaced after the decks fell. Trinity College owns the building, but a private company manages it. Police say the house needed some work.
“The ledger board had been rotted and was only secured to the house with nails,” said Foley. “Typically with that type of construction you want to see lag bolts in there.”
The school is now helping with the investigation. Though no one was seriously hurt when the decks collapsed, it’s something that has impacted the school community.
“A lot of people have been getting a lot of texts from their parents, people at home, just making sure they’re doing all right,” said Post.
Trinity College released a statement on the incident:
We are thankful that none of the injuries suffered are life-threatening. The house where the balcony collapse occurred is owned by Trinity and managed by a property manager. That is all we can say right now, as we are in the process of investigating this incident. Our immediate focus has been and will continue to be on taking care of our students who were hurt in the accident and other campus community members who have otherwise been affected by this unfortunate incident.”