Ocean Isle Beach, NC-- 21 injured after deck collapsed at Ocean Isle Beach(OIB), raising concerns about building codes.
Twenty-one people were taken to various hospitals after the second-story deck of the condominium they were in collapsed onto a concrete patio below. Victims were treated for injuries ranging from broken bones to a spinal cord injury, but fortunately no one was killed.
Investigators are still unsure of what caused the collapse, but OIB leaders are calling on North Carolina lawmakers to take action so something like this does not happen again. Mayor ProTem Dean Walters stated that local governments are not allowed to have building standards tougher than what the state of North Carolina requires. "The tendency now is the laws and restrictions are getting easier and easier, and they should go the other way," Walters said.
Experts now wonder if this collapse, which is similar to one last month in Cherryville where three people were injured, is the result of structural failures in buildings built prior to construction laws being tightened.
According to a Winston Salem Journal report, Brunswick County tax records show the residence was built in 2003 and inspected that year. Due to state law no further inspections are required unless the home is sold.
Beachfront homes endure harsh weather including heavy winds, water and sand, which eventually take a toll on the structure of the homes, so it is a miracle that there were no life-threatening injuries or fatalities from this incident.
"There's a different environment, and we need to look at the laws, as far as building codes, that are directly affected by the environment at the beach," Walters said.
Each year thousands of North Carolinians go to the beach to relax, fish, play golf and enjoy their family. The last thing you want to worry about is an injury caused by the condition of a beach rental. Unfortunately,as our firm has seen many similar cases over the years, a bit of vigilance can reduce the chance of your vacation turning into a disaster. Check out the property carefully, read reviews by other renters, and be picky.