CLEMSON, S.C. (AP — The floor of a clubhouse near Clemson University where a large party was taking place collapsed early Sunday, hurtling dozens of people into the basement, authorities said.
Thirty people were transported to area hospitals. It happened at the clubhouse at The Woodlands of Clemson, a townhome and condo complex near Clemson University.
About 30 people were taken to local hospitals after the center portion of the floor at the clubhouse caved in during a private party. Clemson City Police said no one was trapped, and none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
Video posted on social media shows a large portion of a floor on the first level of the building caving in as people were dancing, causing dozens to fall through to the floor below.
Clemson sophomore Larissa Stone told the Independent Mail of Anderson that the room was "packed" and a popular song was playing when the floor collapsed.
"So everyone was jumping. The beat was about to drop and literally the whole floor collapsed," she said. "It happened so quickly. I stood up, and everyone was trying to climb out. People are under other people. People are hurt. People are bleeding. I had blood on my sneakers. It was really bad."
Partygoers screamed, and those who didn't fall stood on portions of the first floor that remained and gazed below in shock. Some people standing on the sidelines pulled out their cellphones to record the floor collapse.
A witness who attended the party said people were jumping and then suddenly he heard "a boom."
"All you seen was falling, everybody's hands up in the air," Franzie Pendergrass told WYFF News 4.
Leroy Pearson said he went to try to help injured people and saw what he thought looked like broken ankles and legs.
"It was crazy," Pearson said.
Police said the event was a private party by a group that had leased the clubhouse at the Woodlands Apartments, about three miles from Clemson.
Property manager Tal Slann told The Associated Press that the condominium complex was built in 2004-2005. He said he could not comment on whether there was a limit on the number of people who were supposed to use the clubhouse at one time.
"I can tell you there was a party. I can tell you there was a floor collapse. There were injuries. They were not life-threatening. Nobody was trapped," he said.
According to police said a call was received about 12:30 a.m. Sunday about the collapse of the floor at The Woodlands Apartments clubhouse. Ambulances were quickly called to the scene.
Clemson University sent the following email to students:
UPDATE: Floor collapse at off-campus party
Below is a brief update on the incident which occurred at an off-campus party last night. We appreciate everyone’s concern about the students who were injured, and we’ll continue to monitor their progress and ensure they have access to every resource available.
At 12:28 a.m. on Sunday, October 21, the City of Clemson was notified of an incident at The Woodlands of Clemson, an off-campus apartment and townhome residence. Clemson University EMS and Fire were dispatched to the location and assisted in the initial response and transport. Student Affairs officials also arrived at the scene and began assisting students and providing updates to campus leadership.
The annual homecoming weekend party sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity was attended by students and non-students alike and was hosted, like many events organized by affiliated student organizations, at a private reception hall in the Clemson community.
Twenty-three attendees were transported from the scene to local area hospitals (Greenville Memorial, AnMed and Oconee Memorial) with varying degrees of injuries, but none were determined to be life-threatening. A number of other partygoers also arrived at area hospitals via personal transportation, bringing the total to approximately 30.
Clemson Student Affairs is working to determine how many of those injured were Clemson students and to notify other institutions if one or more of their students were in attendance. Clemson is providing all available resources including medical and mental health services to those impacted by the incident.
“The University will continue to do everything it can to help and support our students who were affected by this terrible situation, as well as their families and friends,” said Clemson University President Jim Clements. “I want to personally thank all the first responders who quickly came to the aid of our students, including the Clemson University Fire Department and our Student Affairs team, which has been with our students and their families since early this morning. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those affected by this very unfortunate incident.”
“We are thankful that none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening at this point,” Clemson Provost Bob Jones said. “Our student affairs team has been working to support our students since shortly after the incident occurred and the university will continue to do whatever it can to help those who were affected by this terrible incident, as well as their families and friends. We have asked our faculty to exercise some flexibility in attendance policies for those students who were involved in this traumatic event.”
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to students distressed as a result of this event. Visit www.clemson.edu/caps for online resources and information.