Nine people were injured after a beach-house balcony collapsed under their weight in Malibu last Saturday while they were reportedly throwing a party against the homeowner’s wishes.
At least two people were taken to hospital in critical condition and several others suffered minor to moderate injuries from the fall, which was captured on video by a neighbour’s surveillance camera on Saturday evening. Two others were also treated in hospital while five were treated at the scene, according to local broadcaster KABC.
“We were just chillin’. It was a birthday party,” one unidentified attendee told NBC Los Angeles. “We heard a crack and I literally saw my best friends and girlfriend fall 15 feet to the rocks.”
Video shows more than a dozen people were crammed onto the balcony when it gave way around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. People, furniture and shattered wood were smashed on the rocky beach below. Only a few people managed to avoid going down with the balcony, the video shows.
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“The deck literally just gave out,” the attendee said. “It was a freak accident.”
The deck likely was not designed for such a large crowd, according to Capt. Ron Haralson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
“That would appear to be a lot of persons or potentially a lot of weight,” he told NBC Los Angeles.
Haralson says it was fortunate that no one was seriously injured or killed.
“Down below are jagged rocks, large rocks, so (it was) a very dangerous situation,” he said.
Fire officials say there were more than 15 people on the deck when it collapsed.
The owner of the home says she rented the house out online and was under the impression that only five or six people would be staying there. She says the renters took down her cameras and the neighbours soon started calling her to report a party of 30 people at the house.
She says she was on the phone with the renters to demand that they leave when the balcony collapsed.
Lawyer Shervin Lalezary, who is representing some of the party attendees, says they are considering a lawsuit over their injuries.
“Some of my clients have orthopedic issues. One of them hit their head,” he told CBS Los Angeles.
Fire officials have declared the house uninhabitable.
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