EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A spokesperson for Carteret General Hospital says that 17 people have been released after a deck collapsed in Emerald Isle Saturday afternoon on Ocean Drive. 23 patients came to the hospital initially after the accident. 6 patients have been transferred to other hospitals. The condition of the patients that were transferred is unknown.
Emerald Isle Police say a family was posing for a family photo when the deck collapsed around 7 p.m. One person has been taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Carteret General Hospital says at least one of the victims in critical condition is a child. According to officials at a press conference Sunday, the victims range in age from 5 to 94.
Witnesses on the scene say the family was visiting from Northern Virginia. Some neighbors worked to help victims while waiting for first responders.
Rental data from Bluewater Rentals indicates the house rents for $3,000+ per week during the high season. The families were scheduled to check out of the home on Sunday. The names of the victims of this incident have not been released at this time.
Investigators are working to figure out what caused the deck to collapse. Early indications place the blame on old floor joints. Officials say there is no state requirement for inspections of rental properties. The responsibility then lies on the property owner and the management company Blue Water Realty, according to town officials. Blue Water released a statement asking for the community to rally around the families.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and others for injuries received in this horrible accident. We are also asking everyone in this community for their thoughts and prayers for this family,” Blue Water said in a written statement.