Firefighters Also Find Second Balcony That Appears To Be Structurally Unsound

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Five people were hurt Monday night when a balcony collapsed in Long Beach.

As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, the collapse happened at an apartment building at 271 Shore Road. At around 8:30 p.m., a second-floor balcony collapsed onto a first-floor balcony.

The second-floor balcony was about five feet in the air. Five people were standing on it at the time, and were all sent to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

But the extent of the victims’ injuries was not known Monday night.

Long Beach Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said the collapse was precipitated by several issues.

“Undoubtedly, it was a mixture of structural failure and a live load — the weight on the balcony mixed in with that structural failure that caused that to happen,” Kemins said.

The scene was cleaned up by 11 p.m., and residents were allowed back into the building.

While at the scene, firefighters said they noticed another balcony at the building looked structurally unsound, so they propped it up with wood planks to reinforce it.

Balcony and porch collapses have ended in tragedy in some situations.

Most notoriously, a rear porch collapsed in the fashionable Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago on June 29, 2003, leaving 13 young party goers dead and injuring 57 others. The collapse prompted the City of Chicago to overhaul its regulations on porches, as well as levy a $108,000 fine against the owner of the building. Lawsuits were filed against the building owner and the city by 27 families.

In July 2002, 33 people were injured in Point Pleasant, N.J., when a deck collapsed at a beachfront house, according to published reports.

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