October 21st, 2012
06:47 PM ET

55 hurt after floor of Florida building collapses

The crowded second floor of a Tallahassee, Florida, apartment building collapsed early Sunday - sending scores of people plummeting and, ultimately, 55 to area hospitals - city authorities said.

None of the injuries suffered in the collapse at the Seminole Grand Apartments are considered life-threatening, according to a release on the Tallahassee city government's website.

Witnesses reported an "unusually large crowd" in the two-story, wood frame building before the city fire department got a call at 1:27 a.m. about the collapse.

Using a ladder truck, firefighters rescued seven people after they became stuck in a second-story bedroom and could not access the stairwell, the city said. No one was trapped under the collapsed floor, and the first floor did not contain any apartments.

The building opened for occupancy in December 1995, according to the city. The cause of the collapse - which early estimates suggest caused $250,000 in damage - is under investigation.

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Filed under: Florida • Rescues
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. noteabags

    We don't want no gubmit interference. Just get rid of building codes and let the "market take care of it".

    October 22, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. dahdit

    I can tell you from my experience in the Midwest that lax building codes and inspections, resulting in shoddy construction. is a direct result of corruption locally or at the state level. Somebody got paid off and others have to pay with pain or death.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Badly-Bent

    A. Termites
    B. Shoddy Construction
    C. The Bermuda Triangle
    D. Obesity Epidemic
    E. All of the above

    October 22, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      F: Crowd of 55 people in an upstairs apartment combined with all of the above

      October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. GM^2

    Likely poor construction. Building code (ASCE 7-05) requires live load of 40 pounds per square foot for residential multi-family residences for design of floors. If we assume all 55 people were in a single room that measured 20ftx20ft then for the floors to reach design capacity (not failing/ultimate capacity), each person would weigh 290 pounds to reach the 40 pounds per square foot. This means that everyone is shoulder to shoulder and no furniture.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shayna Rivas

      There were over a hundred people. 55 were injured enough to go to the hospital.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin Nivek

    I think CNN is moderating all of my posts. Let's test it out here.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Shayna Rivas

    I live at Seminole Grand where this happened. I was supposed to go to this party, thank god I didn't. Honestly though its not the building codes. Its the fact that Seminole Grand refuses to do anything about it. The company does not address issues raised by the residents in regards to their apartments. I have lived here since August this year, two of my roommates leased the same apartment last year. The balcony was broken, literally the railing wasn't on and the wooden post holding the balcony together was split up the middle since before THEY moved in. They put numerous "work orders" (which are maintenance requests) in and all of them were ignored. It wasn't until I moved in and my mom threw a fit that they bothered to address the issue and even then, the balcony wasn't fixed for over a week, maybe more (I can double check that through my email records). If CNN wants to know more about this or the other issues residents face, I have proof I live here. I have proof of how TERRIBLE this place is to live and how they ignore even the structural damage of the apartments which can cause life threatening injuries and even death. Although none of that occurred on Saturday, they were lucky and that's about it.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • OrlandoMom

      Why would you choose to live in or move into an apartment with so many problems? Is this government assisted housing? I have no sympathy for people stupid enough to be out drinking in an over-crowded apt at 1:30am. There are maximum capacity limits on all dwellings. These people are incredibly stupid.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ethan Park

    I actually lived at this apartment in 2010. Parties got pretty rowdy, and this apartment complex, Seminole Grand (formerly know as Jefferson Point), was a 30+ building complex mostly filled with college students. I know for a fact that these buildings weren't built with quality in mind; this was one of the numerous apartment complexes that were bought out and monopolized by one of 3-4 real estate companies in Florida. The insulation was so poor that I remember having trouble sleeping in my room, which happened to be at the corner of the building, due to the extreme cold during January while the living room remained warm with the heater on. They basically take advantage of college students without their parents being around by providing cheap housing, poor maintenance, and sudden fees that aren't only high enough that it wouldn't be worth your time to legally dispute. Almost every student used to complain about the shoddy construction and monopoly these companies were forming throughout town. It's come to a point where most affordable housing options have been bought out by these big companies, and now students are left without much of a choice but to sign these leases. Although this isn't major news, I'm glad that some national attention is going to these unethical business practices.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jo

    There were over a hundred people crowded into a room meant to hold less than 20 people. Also, someone who was there said the police had already responded and asked people to leave due to over capacity and noise. Apparently no one cared to leave. Obviously I wouldn't wish anyone to be hurt, but when you place yourself in a bad situation, bad things happen. They've already said the structure passed inspection, so I fail to see how it's the management's problem that these people weren't using their heads or heeding the warning by police.

    October 23, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rollo

    It's Tally baby, people are partying their asses off. Just glad nobody got killed. And btw...Go NOLES!!!

    October 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dragon Ball Z Kai

    Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your site in web explorer, may test this? IE still is the market leader and a good component of folks will pass over your excellent writing due to this problem.

    March 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
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