A wooden deck collapse sent 15 people to hospital, seriously injuring four, early this morning in Dartmouth.
The emergency call came in at 1:32 a.m. on Sunday to a house in the 100 to 200 block of Green Village Lane in Dartmouth, near Portland Street.
"When we got there we found that the deck had collapsed. It was approximately [3.5 metres] and it had just fallen off the house, basically. We had 15 people on the deck that required medical attention. We had numerous EHS and fire were there as well as the police. But we had injuries that varied from lacerations to fractures," he said.
Halifax Regional Police Staff Sgt. Bill Morris said about 15 people were on the 3.5-metre high deck when it fell to the ground. Two people were underneath the deck. All of them were taken to hospital. Four of those people have serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
"Due to the number of people, they were taken to both the Dartmouth General Hospital and the QEII. Right now, as of this time, we still have [four] individuals ... who still are serious condition at the QEII. There’s still others being treated … for minor injuries. We're still looking into it. We're trying to determine where to go at this point, where it's a private residence but this is a serious thing with a deck collapse and that many people getting hurt," he said.
Next door to the house, Julia Smeele said she heard the commotion and called 911.
“It sounded like a bomb went off, it was the loudest thing and a whole bunch of cracking wood and screaming. It was the scariest thing,” she said.
“I just saw a lot of blood and a lot of people lying down not moving ... It was the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life.”
The deck collapse has other people in the neighbourhood worried about the structural integrity of decks in the rest of the neighbourhood.
“So we looked in the backyard and the whole deck had just collapsed, it looked like the legs had just given out from underneath it. Apparently these decks have just been held together with just a few nails, now that they are looking into it. It's freaky to think about, really," said neighbour Annie Borland.
Just a few doors down from the home where the deck collapsed, Martha Lazier said a police officer examined her deck and her neighbour’s deck this morning.
She said the scene last night was chaotic.
"There was a young girl screaming and hollering. and saying ‘Severe head trauma, come quick, severe head trauma, they might be dead,’” said Lazier.
Morris said officials are trying to determine how this matter will be investigated. Morris said he'll be asking a city building inspector to have a look at the now collapsed deck.