20 injured, one seriously, in Laurentians balcony collapse
Published Monday, July 29, 2013 2:27PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 29, 2013 6:58PM EDT
A total of 20 people have been injured, including one seriously injured and 12 sent to hospital, at a camp in the Laurentians.
A group of 58 people was standing on a balcony at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Camp Peniel on Spotz Rd. in Wentworth, 90 minutes northwest of Montreal.
The incident occurred during a baptism, where 250 people were in attendance. Rain broke out, forcing many people at the ceremony to seek cover under an awning on the balcony, explained Wentworth-North fire chief Jason Neil.
The group was asked to stay mostly on one side to keep entrance clear. When the collapse happened, all 58 were triaged; 20 people were injured including 12 who were sent to hospital.
“We had one person who was seriously injured; she had spinal injuries,” said Neil.
Officials say the woman will recover. Another victim broke their ankle, and the others suffered sprains and lesser injuries.
Building board the Regie du batiment is now investigating to see whether or not the balcony conformed to building standards and whether it was over capacity at the time of the collapse.
The camp is owned by a Mennonite church
Camp Peniel president Serge Lachance said it's not rare for 60 people to stand on the deck at once.
“It’s not old, likely less than 20 years old,” he said, adding that he’s curious to find out what exactly went wrong.