Walkway collapse prompts concerns about student housing safety

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KSDK) -- A walkway collapse at a Mizzou student housing complex has left a firefighter dead.

Now, inspectors are going in to make sure all campus buildings are safe for students. The complex where the firefighter died houses married students, students with children and those over the age of 21. Throughout the weekend, construction crews were putting reinforcements under the elevated walkways of all buildings in the University Village Apartments complex.

Adriana Boersner lives in one of the apartments where the walkway collapsed. So, she says she was grateful she was out of town on Saturday. Otherwise, she probably would've been among those Columbia Fire Lt. Bruce Britt was helping after the partial collapse, when the rest of the structure crumbled, killing him.

RELATED: Funeral arrangements announced for Columbia firefighter

"The buildings are old but I never felt that something like this could happen," Boersner said.

But another resident, Grace Wadholm, says her husband did feel like that very thing could happen.

"He said this is really going to collapse someday," Wadholm said.

Now, the couple is asking to get out of its lease right away.

PREVIOUS STORY: Mo. firefighter killed at walkway collapse scene

"We'd already planned to move because we just thought it'd be better to live in another apartment where things aren't quite so bad," Wadholm said.

The university declined an on-camera interview Sunday, but tells us the complex was built in the 1950's. A spokesman also says the last inspection was conducted within the past five years. We have requested a copy of the report. But regardless of what it says, the sight of the collapse has convinced Boersner that she'll never call the apartment complex home, again.

"I'm not going back there. I need to move to another place. I want my stuff then I'm moving to another place," Boersner said.

The university tells us it's paying for students living in the damaged building to stay somewhere else. It says it will continue to do so until it figures out whether residents will be able to live in that building again. Inspections on the rest of the university's more than 250 buildings start Monday.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment