Police say dozens of people were injured, some critically, when the second storey deck of a home in Langley collapsed Friday evening during a wedding celebration.
The incident occurred at a home in the 5800 block of 268th Street, during a wedding party attended by more than 100 people. Reports say the second-storey deck broke away from the structure and collapsed, sending partygoers tumbling and causing multiple injuries.
RCMP Cpl. Craig Van Herk said 911 calls started flooding in around 5:45 p.m. local time. Police, the B.C. Ambulance Service and local firefighters all responded to the scene, where they found 35 to 40 injured people ranging in age from children to the elderly.
One person was transported by air ambulance to hospital in critical condition, while possibly two others, also critical, were taken to hospital in road ambulances. Van Herk added that nearly 20 people had suffered serious injuries, while 12 to 15 others were treated in hospital for minor injuries.
Neighbour Charles Ford said he was working with a friend in his backyard when he heard a “deafening boom.”
“I looked at my friend, because my back was toward the neighbour’s, and I said, ‘I think that came from next door.’ And my friend said, ‘I can see people running.’ And we could hear shouting going on. It looked pretty serious.”
Ford said he ran into his house to grab first-aid supplies, then headed next door. Around where the deck had collapsed, he said there were “bodies everywhere.”
“Me and my friend tried our best to move as many people away from the porch as possible. There were two ladies, one was unconscious and the other was bleeding from her ankle pretty badly. I just put whatever bandages I can there. Paramedics eventually got there and switched off with me.
“It was supposed to be a good day, some people were getting married. Luckily there were no kids underneath the porch that got hurt. Today was supposed to be a day of happiness and now it’s a day … of this.”
Van Herk said it is not known how many people were on the deck at the time of the collapse. He noted that it was a “fairly dynamic, complex situation” as first responders arrived to find so many injured people. He said investigators would return Saturday to try to determine the cause of the collapse.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019