Deck collapses on Ocean Isle Beach; 21 people transported to three area hospitals

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By Renee Sloan, Page Designer/Staff Writer

The sundeck of a large house collapsed at Ocean Isle Beach the night of Tuesday, July 9, sending 21 people, including a child, to three different hospitals in the area.

Reports show that a 911 call was made reporting the incident at 8:20 p.m.

Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano said about 25 people were on the second-story deck when the floor gave way and they fell onto a concrete patio on the ground floor.

Marzano said there were traumatic injuries including broken bones, lacerations and spinal injuries, but he said he didn’t believe any of the injuries were life-threatening. He confirmed there was a pediatric patient but did not have the child’s age.

Those injured were taken to Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington and Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Novant Health Brunswick spokeswoman Amy Myers said the hospital received six of the patients and all were reported to be in good or fair condition. Marzano said a seventh person was taken to that hospital later.

Marzano said one person was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, but information on the extent of his or her injuries was not available.

The remaining 13 patients were taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. Eleven were treated and released; two patients were admitted. One suffered a broken leg and the other suffered a broken ankle.

Ocean Isle Beach Town Administrator Daisy Ivey said she does not know the names or ages of those who were injured or who was renting the house. She also said the town has not received any updates about the victims’ conditions.

Ivey said an Ocean Isle Beach building inspector inspected the deck after it collapsed.

“We posted the deck as unsafe and advised the homeowner it needed to be repaired,” she said.

Brunswick County tax records show the property is owned by Franklin Howey Jr. of Monroe, who could not be reached for comment.

The house is listed as a rental property with Williamson Realty on Ocean Isle Beach. Realty owner Frank Williamson said the insurance company completed its investigation last week and the debris was removed. He said the deck has not been rebuilt, but railings have been installed to bring the property up to code and make it safe for occupants.

“There’s new tenants enjoying the house right now—minus the sundeck, of course,” Williamson said.

Williamson said all but four of the people who were injured returned to the home after the accident and spent the night there.

Among emergency personnel who responded to the scene were Brunswick County Emergency Services, Ocean Isle Beach Police Department, Ocean Isle Beach Fire Department, Grissettown and Civietown fire departments, Calabash Fire and Rescue Department, and Sunset Beach police and fire departments.

Renee Sloan is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rsloan@brunswickbeacon.com.