Four hurt in Hamilton deck collapse

Four people were injured when the wooden deck they were on at a Hamilton house collapsed from under them. Photo / Thinkstock
Four people were injured when the wooden deck they were on at a Hamilton house collapsed from under them. Photo / Thinkstock

Four partygoers were hurt when a wooden deck they were standing on collapsed and plunged 3m at a Hamilton house.

Tania Wightman, who is three months pregnant, and three others were standing on the deck at the Saxbys Rd flat when it suddenly collapsed, sending them 3m to the first floor wooden deck below.

Miss Wightman, who is pregnant, said her own pain was masked by her concern for her unborn child.

"My leg is quite sore still, but I'm not really worried about that. All I cared about was my baby," she told the Waikato Times.

Tessa Plunkett, who was celebrating her 21st birthday at the house on Saturday, was still in hospital in a stable condition today following the incident.

Two other people were on the deck - Rangi Murray who broke his leg, and Tessa Holland who suffered back pain.

There were about 15 people at the birthday party, and those inside said the whole flat shook as part of the approximately 40sq m deck pulled away from the wall, the newspaper reported.

Miss Holland had pain in her back yesterday, but said she did not see a doctor on the Saturday night because of the "six-hour wait" at the hospital.

The accident would have been "much worse" if a chair had not wedged between the deck and the wall, stopping it from dropping on the four people after they fell off it and under it, she said.

"If it hadn't been for that chair the whole thing would have probably fallen down."

Flatmate Majinta Fenwick said it was lucky two preschoolers living at the house and who spent a lot of time playing on the deck were not on it when it collapsed.

She said the tenants had gone to their real estate agent previously with concerns about the stability of the deck.

The landlord's agent had changed to Lodge City Rentals a few weeks ago but there had been no inspection and no response to their requests to the new agent to have the balcony looked at, Ms Fenwick said.

Lodge City Rentals general manager David Kneebone said it had only taken the property over three weeks ago.

"There was already a tenancy agreement in place and we had just taken over. We were scheduled to do a property inspection in two weeks," he said.

Riverside Property Management manager Jamie Soo Choon, who previously looked after the property for three years, said he was surprised to hear the deck had collapsed.

"We have never had any indications by the tenants that there was anything wrong with the deck or in any of the property inspection," he said.

- APNZ

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