Structural engineers are looking at the design and construction of a student housing apartment complex near the University of North Texas (UNT) after the floor of a third-story apartment collapsed under the weight of a party early Sunday morning.
Police in Denton, Texas, home of UNT, said the collapse occurred about 2 a.m. Sunday at The Ridges, an off-campus, student-only apartment complex.
Authorities said there were at least 30 people in the third-story apartment for a party following a UNT victory at its homecoming game against University of Texas El Paso (UTEP).
Firefighters called to the scene were prepared for a “potential mass casualty incident,” a statement from the fire department said, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. Several people were injured in the collapse, but none of those injured required transportation by ambulance or hospitalization. Most of the injuries were minor and consisted of cuts, bruises, and sprains.
According to a GoFundMe account, four women who lived in the second-story apartment below had “’feared that the ceiling wouldnt (sic) hold up’ to the weight of 50-60 people (sic) dancing and jumping in such a small space.”
When the party Saturday night/Sunday morning kicked into high-gear, the women who lived below decided to leave.
“My door has never shaked before,” one of the roommates, Briceida Castro, told NBC 5 Dallas/Fort Worth. “And I knew at that moment that I had to leave. I told my roommate, ‘We’re leaving. Like right now.'”
Ms. Castro and her roommate also took photos of the partygoers as evidence before they drove to the police station. They arrived at the station just four minutes before the police received a report of the collapse. Had the women been home at the time of the collapse, they might have been crushed under the weight of falling bodies, furniture, appliances, and debris.
The collapse has displaced some 50 residents, mostly UNT students, from Building 1 of The Ridge. The manager of the building circulated an email telling the displaced students that they would be able to stay at the Best Western Premier Crown Chase Inn & Suites and would be reimbursed for lodging expenses.