At least fourteen people were injured and taken to nearby hospitals after a roof collapsed at a Columbus, Ohio, home near Ohio State University because too many people were standing atop the roof, according to officials.
“It appears that the roof was overloaded with students, we’ve heard numbers between 15 and 45 students on a rooftop that was not designed to have anybody on it, and it gave way,” Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said Saturday night.
The front porch roof section of the home collapsed around 7:40 p.m. ET Saturday night, officials said.
The few people who had gotten caught under the collapsed structure were able to unpin themselves from beneath the roof with the help of other students who helped lift portions of the building from their bodies, Martin said. All of the injured transported to hospitals were in stable condition, he said.
The front porch roof is rated for weight such as expected snow accumulation in central Ohio, but not for holding the weight of people, the fire chief said.
“With the weight that it’s rated for, it’ll hold one or two people putting shingles on it or doing a job, but it’s not going to hold 45 people,” Martin said.
In a statement Sunday, Ohio State University said that they “have been monitoring this serious situation closely and assisting first responders in any way possible. Our thoughts are with the individuals who were present and their friends and family.”