Dozens injured in apartment floor collapse

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — At least two dozen people were injured Thursday when the second floor of a garage apartment collapsed during a religious gathering at a home west of Houston.

Houston Fire Department Capt. Ruy Lozano said at least 100 people had gathered for a celebration of Jainism, a religion in India, when the incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Central. The apartment's flooring gave way and collapsed into the garage below. They had gathered to celebrate with a religious leader from India.

The second floor was designed to hold six people and there were as many as 40 people upstairs when the floor collapsed onto the lower section. The collapse trapped people underneath and injured those who were above.

One person suffered a serious head wound and about 30 others were treated for various injuries.

"We don't have an exact count on the injuries at this time," said Lozano. "We're going to triage those that need to be treated immediately and then transport them as quickly as possible. Those that have minor scrapes, we'll just make sure they're not hurt and then they can go home."

The youngest patient was reportedly 8 years old, firefighters said.

The injured were sent to at least three hospitals. Six patients at two hospitals were listed in good condition. A hospital that received 18 people did not release their conditions.

Aerial views showed that several people were being treated outside the home, which was evacuated.

The collapse was not visible from outside the garage, but one exterior wall showed signs of rippling or buckling.

Lozano said an investigation into the incident will begin once the medical response is over.

"We'll start looking at the investigative process and if there were any structural problems. We'll probably bring in engineers to look it over."


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