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Why did the floor collapse at the Clemson party?

One minute everyone was dancing and having a good time, and moments later the floor fell out from underneath them and dozens of people fell into the basement.

Thankfully, no one died, but there were some serious injuries. The investigation into the party near Clemson University will focus on why the floor gave way and whether it could have been prevented.

Clubhouse party results in 30 people hospitalized

It was Homecoming weekend for Clemson. Dozens of people gathered for a private party Saturday night at The Woodlands apartment building just a few blocks away from the Clemson campus. Videos taken by partygoers showed people dancing and jumping just before the center of the floor abruptly caved in.

Approximately 30 people were taken to hospitals. None of the injuries were life-threatening, according to Clemson police. The investigation is still in its early stages, but officials will certainly look into the structural integrity of the building and how many people were amassed on the first floor when the collapse occurred.

This is why there are safety codes

There are building codes for a reason. Any structure that is intended to hold a lot of people must be built to certain weight-bearing specifications. This would be especially true for a party room that is rented out. Was it properly engineered? Was it built in a structurally sound manner? Was it intended to be a dance floor?

State and city fire codes also regulate how many people can occupy a building at one time. Did the number of partygoers exceed the maximum capacity? The building had been rented out for the post-Homecoming celebration. Did the landlord know how many people would be attending or authorize a dance party? Were the organizers keeping track of how many people came through the door?

Time will tell what happened

This early in the investigation, any talk of wrongdoing or fault is pure speculation. There are no reports so far of building code or fire code violations. But the police and fire marshals and building inspectors are asking these questions. The injured and their loved ones are asking how this could happen.

At Beasley Law, we handle personal injury cases, including premises liability. We know that this shocking mishap could have been so much worse if anyone had been in the basement or become trapped or crushed by the debris. And we know that “freak accidents” are rare. In all likelihood, the investigation will reveal how it could have been prevented and by whom.