Injuries were said to be relatively minor, but it took 10 ambulances to respond to the scene and cart the injured to a hospital in Kalispell, Mont. The incident took place about 9 p.m. as the crowd gathered to look out over Flathead Lake. Authorities said a number of people suffered broken ankles when the deck came crashing down on the patio below, and a couple of children on the deck came away with nose bleeds but nothing more serious.
There was no immediate word on what might have caused the collapse, but a photo posted by a local television station showed the surface of the deck and the outer support beam and railing virtually intact. Whether the deck initially pulled away from the rim joist on the house, or at the outer beam, or both, isn't clear. Chris Yerkes, chief of the South Kalispell Fire Department, said the cause may have been something as simple as too much weight.