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Balcony collapse in Oktibbeha County

OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) — Oktibbeha County officials are still investigating an early Saturday morning balcony collapse at the Highland Plantation apartment complex near Mississippi State University that injured at least 15.

"When we got here, we had at least five patients on the ground with multiple injuries," said East Oktibbeha County Fire Chief Greg Ball.

He described what he and his firefighters saw when they arrived at the corner of St. Andrews Lane and Links Lane.

He said there were two balconies on the second and third floors that fell on top of each other.

"What we were told was there were several people on the second balcony.  And the structure just gave away and collapsed upon itself," Ball continued.

Those who fell landed away from the falling balconies.  That likely saved some if not all from being crushed underneath the two balconies.

The incident, which happened after 12:01 a.m. Saturday, struck a nerve with other tenants who say it's common for residents to sit out on their balconies.

"I love sitting on my balcony all the time," said resident Christina McField.

"It makes me feel terrible. I do not want to sit on my balcony at all because the same thing might happen to ours," she continued.

Lindsey Burton's car was damaged by the balconies.

She knew most of those on the balcony when it collapsed.

She said, however, a car can be replaced.

"This is very tragic, but I'm very thankful ... there's no dead, no serious injuries," said Burton.

Officials said there are many questions left to be answered about this accident.  One is were the support beams strong enough for the balconies.

Those answers, they said, will come in time.

Meanwhile, the shock of such an event has local residents thinking about changes.

"I think it's just scary," said Daniel Wiener, a local resident.  "The ordinance needs to be looked at and make sure that all the houses are in order, and you know, we can't let this happen again."

We tried unsuccessfully to contact someone with Garden Homes Management, the firm listed as managers for the apartment complex in Oktibbeha County.





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