AUSTIN (KXAN) - A man and woman who survived a deck collapse at a condominium inSouth Austin Sunday morning returned to the scene this afternoon toget their belongings.
"It was like boom boom and then you heard everyone screaming'help, help,'" said Erica Hagar, 21, who was among the 30 people onthe wooden deck attached to the condominium unit when it collapsed."It was a nightmare."
According to police, residents at the Garden Court Condominiumslocated near Oltorf Street and Sunridge Drive in SouthAustin, were hosting a party and many of the guests were on thebalcony at the time of the collapse.
Hagar said she came to the house to party around 3:30 a.m. withher boyfriend and friends.
"Luckily, I was sitting in a chair and not standing like otherpeople," Hagar said while choking back tears. "My boyfriendsaved me, he pulled me up. I was on top but my feet were underpeople. I was the first one through the sliding glassdoor."
Hagar returned this afternoon to try and get her friend'sbelongings and keys. She told KXAN, two of her friends wereinjured and were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge andseparate hospitals in Round Rock.
"My friend had to get stitches in her eye and my other friend,he has a broken back," Hagar added.
Close to two dozen people were taken to area hospitals. The most critical patients were treated at Brackenridge, accordingto Dr. Christopher Ziebell with Seton Hospitals who spoke at apress conference at University Medical Center Brackenridge onSunday to provide patient updates.
Omar Flemming, 29, said he attended the party with his37-year-old sister,
"A girl's leg was up under the balcony. People had bloodon their head and were saying 'help me, help,"" Flemming recalled."It took 12 to 15 men just to hold the balcony up so people couldmove."
Both Flemming and Hagar believe they are lucky to be alive andare still in disbelief.
"You just never think the floor is going to come out fromunderneath you. It is a really scary feeling," Hagar saidwhile trembling.
Sunday morning City of Austin code compliance officers were onthe scene to inspect.
"We need to look at it if it was permitted and what type ofprocess went into building it," says Ron Potts, City of Austinassistant division manager, code compliance.
They will begin their initial investigation Monday morning.
Neighbors and Flemming told KXAN the balcony was rebuilt only acouple months ago.
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