As many as 50 people had crowded onto the deck at the rear of a house in East Setauket, N.Y., when it collapsed and sent party-goers to the ground 10 feet below. One person was treated for a broken leg, and another suffered bruises (a third person was treated for severe alcohol intoxication).
At least 400 people were gathered at the house to celebrate move-in day at nearby Stony Brook University. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident and whether the house had been converted into illegal apartments, a common problem in the area.
Neighbors who called police said they were amazed only two people were hurt. "It is insanity, absolutely insanity," one of them said.
A news photo taken at the scene shows a nearly intact deck resting on the ground, apparently after it pulled away from the house at the ledger.
Newsday reported the landlord faces a fine of up to $18,000 for housing code violations.