Deck collapse at Ocean Isle Beach home injures 21 in July 2013
Posted July 9, 2013
Updated July 5, 2015
Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. — Twenty-one members of a family vacationing at Ocean Isle Beach were injured Tuesday night taking a family photo when the second-story deck they were standing on collapsed onto a concrete patio, authorities said.
About 25 people were at the home, at 83 Ocean Isle West Blvd. Injuries ranged from broken bones to a spinal injury, but police said none of them appeared life-threatening.
Thirteen people were taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where 11 were treated and released. Seven were taken to Brunswick Novant Medical Center in Supply, and one was flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.
Although investigators are still unsure what caused the collapse, Ocean Isle Beach town leaders are calling on state lawmakers to take action to prevent it from happening again.
The house, which rents for about $10,000 weekly, is up to building code, and Mayor Pro Tem Dean Walters said Wednesday that might be the problem.
Local governments, he said, are not allowed to have building standards tougher than what the state of North Carolina requires.
"The tendency now is the laws and restrictions are getting easier and easier, and they should go the other way," Walters said.
Beachfront homes endure harsh winds, water, sand and dozens of people at a time, he said.
"There's a different environment, and we need to look at the laws, as far as building codes, that are directly affected by the environment at the beach," Walters said.
Visitors to Ocean Isle Beach said the deck collapse is alarming.
"It's scary, because you think these houses are developed and hurricane-proof, and then a family is on the deck taking a picture, which is something we have done," said Lindsay Montgomery.