A pier collapses on the University of Wisconsin campus. One hospitalized, 20 others slightly injured
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Part of a pier where dozens of University of Wisconsin students and others were celebrating Labor Day has collapsed into a lake, leaving one person hospitalized and with minor injuries about 20 more, officials said.
Video shot from the shores of Lake Mendota shows that part of the metal pier just east of the Union Terrace stage on the Madison campus collapsed on Monday afternoon, knocking people out ‘water.
Madison Fire Department said one person was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and five others were treated at the scene for minor injuries. UW-Madison police officer Jeff Kirchman told the Wisconsin State Journal that “twenty” had minor injuries, in addition to the hospitalized person.
“There were far too many children on the docks. They were packed. There were no warnings. All of a sudden it collapsed and people were in the water,” said Debra Drewek, a retired nurse who was taking pictures on the patio when the collapse happened.
She said many people on the collapsed section swam to shore and others clung to the pier and waited for the rescue boats to arrive. Drewek said most of the injuries appeared to be scratches to the legs and “a lot of kids were crying because they had laptops, wallets and phones underwater.”
Kirchman said efforts were being made to retrieve lost items from the lake.
It is estimated that between 60 and 80 “students and other members of the public” were on the pier when the collapse occurred, school officials said in a statement.
The pier was open to the public at the time of the collapse, although the area of the lake surrounding the pier was closed to swimming and no lifeguards were on duty, said school spokesman John Lucas, pointing out that the collapse was under investigation.
The pier was scheduled to be removed on Tuesday due to the end of the summer season, Lucas said.