EMERALD ISLE, NC -- Severe injuries are reported following the collapse of a deck at a beach house on Emerald Isle in Carteret County at the North Carolina coast.
It happened sometime around 7 p.m. in the 4300 block of Ocean Drive.
The Emerald Isle Police Department said at least 14 people were hurt. Carteret General Hospital said it's treating 16 patients - three are in critical condition. The rest suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Another person reportedly in critical condition was flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and a second to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville - making a total of 18 hurt.
Police said due to the number of patients involved, neighboring agencies were called in to assist in transporting and dealing with the victims. Indian Beach, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Western Carteret all sent Fire and EMS units to assist, while Broad and Gales Creek Fire Departments were also dispatched to provided assistance. Morehead City EMS provided a mass casualty bus to treat and transport victims.
WCTI-TV reports the vacationers are a family from Virginia.
Investigators said the victims had all grouped together on the deck for a picture when it gave way. Exactly why the deck failed is not clear. The deck measured about 12 feet by 12 feet and was at least 10 feet above the ground.
More than a dozen hurt in deck collapse on Emerald Isle at North Carolina coast
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