Trinity College says collapsed balcony was built incorrectly

(WTNH - Leigh Frillici)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Trinity College says shoddy construction was the cause of a balcony collapse that injured 32 students earlier this month.

On Thursday, the school released an independent site investigation report of the collapse at 1713-1715 Broad Street on September 10th. The report, conducted by Cirrus Structural Engineering, found the two elevated decks to be structurally deficient relative to “code requirements, engineering principles and general best practice.” The report further concluded that “the failure of the rear elevated decks at 1713-1715 Broad Street was primarily caused by construction flaws…”

Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said, “I express my sincere apologies that our students had to experience such a traumatic event and am grateful that all who were injured are back on campus. These students, their families, and all members of our community have my commitment to have all of Trinity’s off-campus buildings regularly inspected so that something like this does not occur again.”

The study blamed lack of vertical load support, the use of improper fasteners, and failure to use protective flashing. The decks on the Trinity owned building were built sometime between 1990 and 2003, but there is no record of who built them.

“For reasons unclear to us, no inspection was done at the time the 1713-1715 Broad Street building was purchased by the College in 2011,” said Vice President of Finance and Operations Dan Hitchell, who joined the College in July 2016 and oversees facilities. “We are now inspecting all off-campus properties and will enact new procedures to ensure that all buildings that the College owns are safe.”

Trinity owns 35 off-campus properties.

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