25 hurt when floor collapses at massive party near University of Georgia

Shaddi Abusaid
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta – More than two dozen people were injured Friday when a floor collapsed at a massive house party near the University of Georgia, fire officials in Athens said.

Injuries ranged from cuts and scratches to a possible broken arm, though investigators said the incident could have been much worse.

Crews were called to the home about 1 a.m. after a floor collapsed “due to an unusually large number of people” inside the two-story house, Athens-Clarke County fire officials said in a news release. Authorities said there were about 500 people at the party.

Athens police were already at the scene removing people from the home when firefighters arrived. Firetrucks had a difficult time getting to the scene due to “massive amounts of vehicles and people blocking the street.”

“When our crews finally made it to the home, they found a two-story home over a high crawl space,” the release said. “The majority of the first floor had collapsed into the crawl space due to dozens of people who had overcrowded the space while having a party.”

Firefighters helped police get people out of the the crawl space as EMS crews triaged patients and assessed their injuries. The partygoers’ injuries were relatively minor, and no one was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Some attendees said they would drive themselves or have someone else take them in for medical attention, however.

Code enforcement was also called in to determine whether the property should be condemned.

“We are grateful that this unexpected event didn’t turn out any worse than it did,” said fire Capt. Nate Moss. “Many times, overcrowding can result in collapses of decks and flooring, especially in older structures. The thing that helped, in this case, was the lack of elevation. These folks should consider themselves fortunate.”