Deck collapses in Pawleys Island

Scene at deck collapse/Andrew Prue

Friday about 6:15 pm, a deck collapsed at the Sea View Inn on Myrtle Avenue in Pawleys Island.

There were 13 people taken by ambulance to Waccamaw Community Hospital, Georgetown Memorial Hospital, or Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. They all fell about 12 feet when the deck collapsed.

Emergency officials say one person's injuries do appear to be serious. The rest are walking to moderate injuries.

One of the men who was on the deck right before it fell, says people had gathered on it to take a photo. Rich Regan said, "On the deck, there was somewhere about 30 people, and I was standing there and all of a sudden the deck started to collapse. I jumped quicker than some people. I was not injured. My son was with me, and he's not injured, but it is pretty horrific. It's ten feet down, and wood and splinters and nails and a lot of blood and people screaming."

Pawleys Island Police Chief Michael Fanning said, "These type of situations when you have an overload of people on a deck, these decks tend to collapse kind of in a trap door fashion, and everybody comes sliding down on top of each other. So my officers told me when they arrived on scene, there was actually a couple of different layers of people they had to kind of evacuate out of there in order to evaluate the seriousness of their injuries."

Twelve ambulances from Georgetown and Horry counties were called to the scene. A medical helicopter was also called to the scene, but no one was airlifted.

Here's a statement from the Sea View Inn's Facebook page: "Sea View Inn had a very unfortunate accident this evening. At approximately 6:15pm, the guests were gathering in the dining room for supper. It was at that time, some of them noticed a double rainbow and suggested that the entire group go out and take a photograph on the small, elevated deck just below the main ocean porch. The best indication that we have is that there were over 30 people on the deck for this photo. This deck was not in disrepair or in a compromised state. It was waterlogged from the recent deluge of rain and simply could not hold the weight. Now, for the injuries. No one was medi-vacced and there were no life threatening injuries. Everyone, with the exception of one very dear friend/guest, have been released from the hospital with injuries ranging from cracked ribs and lacerations, to a broken ankle. The one guest that remains hospitalized has a leg injury that will require surgery. We pray that she will have a successful surgery and full recovery. We feel a great deal of sadness for everyone injured and traumatized by this event.But we also have to thank the many emergency and fire personnel that responded so professionally and efficiently to this scene. Incredible. We also thank our staff for caring for our guests and those injured prior to the arrival of EMS. And we thank our guests themselves for helping each other, both emotionally and physically. The guests here this week, like most of our guests, are an extended family to each other. This was a terrible accident, but what we are providing here is an accurate account of what happened, despite some of the misinformation being reported. Lastly, we want to thank the many friends that have offered prayers, love, and support during this difficult time." Sassy and Brian

On Saturday, neighbor Gregory Morton told WPDE she's still shaken up by the chaotic scene.

"We saw a lot of fire trucks and ambulances and we were concerned as to what had happened," Morton explained, "They were taking people from Sea View and putting them in the ambulances and when they would load them up they would leave to go to the hospital."

WPDE has placed calls in to the Georgetown County building inspector on the cause of the collapse. We will update this story as soon as that information becomes available.