A half-dozen Clemson students remained hospitalized as of Monday morning after they were injured at a weekend party where the floor collapsed at the clubhouse of an off-campus housing complex, a university spokesman.
In all, 30 people were injured early Sunday morning and transported to area hospitals after the floor gave way at The Woodlands of Clemson clubhouse, the Clemson City Police Department said.
Of those hurt, 29 were Clemson students, the university said. As of Monday morning, six remained hospitalized but none had life-threatening injuries, Joe Galbraith, Clemson University’s associate vice president for strategic communications, said.
The party started around 10 p.m. on Saturday. Police were called to the scene at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Todd Steadman, director of the city of Clemson’s planning and codes department, said the posted occupancy for the upstairs of the clubhouse was 135 people.
“There is security camera footage we will be reviewing to determine what the occupancy was at the time of the incident,” Steadman said. “The facts we know at this time are that the building was built in 2004 and was built under the guidelines of the building code that was in effect for that year. The construction process was inspected and approved by the City of Clemson building inspectors employed at that time.”
The Clemson Police Department did not receive any calls about the party prior to the floor collapsing.
Various videos of the floor collapse have been posted on social media. In one video, people can be seen happily dancing before screams and chaos erupt.
“The floor broke,” one woman yells.
Another video shows the gaping hole in the center of the room, with people still standing around the edges and looking down as others try to climb out from the lower level.
The building permit for the clubhouse was issued in 2004, and it opened for business in 2005. It was built by Dovetail Builders LLC, Steadman confirmed.
Dovetail built Woodlands properties in other college towns, including the first one in Athens, Georgia, where the University of Georgia is located.
Woodlands of Athens’ clubhouse has a similar two-floor structure. A representative from the Woodlands of Athens Condominium Association Inc. said management plans to review original design plans for its clubhouse and check with engineers.
For the time being, The Woodlands of Athens will allow normal foot traffic but will not likely allow any parties, a representative said. Typically parties there has a limit of 50 attendees.
Other similar Woodlands properties by Dovetail are located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and College Station, Texas, although the clubhouse designs may vary and each is operated independently.
The Independent Mail has placed Freedom of Information requests for building inspections for the Clemson clubhouse as well as for 911 calls from the night of the incident.