KCFW

Six airlifted, five critical, dozens injured after Glacier Camp deck collapse

Six airlifted, five critical, dozens...

KALISPELL, Mont. - Lake County emergency services confirmed multiple people were injured after a deck collapse at Glacier Camp. They say a group of people were attending a memorial service at Glacier Camp when the balcony on the second story of one building collapsed.

The camp is located on the west side of Flathead Lake between Lakeside and Rollins.

Somers Rural Fire Department confirmed 32 people were transported to area hospitals including Kalispell Regional Medical Center and hospitals in Ronan, Polson, Whitefish and Missoula.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell says six people were airlifted via helicopter. Five people are in critical condition, but no reported fatalities.

Bell says he's grateful for the efforts made by the emergency crews.

"When I first got on scene I saw injured people," Bell said. "I saw the ambulance crews and firefighters triaging people and stabilizing them whether it was with ankle braces, wrapping someone's knee or controlling bleeding on someone's head. The emergency crews did a great job."

Somers fire confirmed one person was transported via Life Flight helicopter to Missoula's Providence Saint Patrick Hospital. Somers fire says 10 people went to the hospital via personal vehicles.

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, Somers fire and the sheriff's department says they are not aware of any fatalities and do not have further information about anyone released from the hospital or the status of injuries.

Somers fire says the injuries ranged from mild to severe and Bell says crews had to line up and transport the injured based on the severity of wounds.

Somers fire says children up to elderly people were injured. Emergency crews say they are waiting to hear updates from area hospitals on patient conditions.

Somers fire says agencies responded from all over the Mission and Flathead valley's including but not limited to Rollins Fire Department, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Alert ambulance services, Lakeside Qru Ambulance, Evergreen Ambulance and emergency services from Big Fork, West Valley, Smith Valley, Polson and Ronan.

Scanner traffic reported emergency crews called in an MCI (mass casualty incident) trailer and summoned every available ambulance in the Lake County area.

Glacier Camp is a Presbyterian summer camp near Lakeside on the northwest shore of Flathead Lake. The camps website indicates a summer retreat on the weekend of June 17 and 18.

Somers fire says the area experienced another balcony collapse about a year ago on Lakeside Boulevard during a party at a private residence with 20 people involved.

Somers fire says they do not believe the county has maximum capacity balcony regulations.

Bell said the cause of the collapse is under investigation. About 50 people were gathered to remember William Nickel. He was a longtime Flathead Valley firefighter who died in April.

We will update this web page with more information as it becomes available.


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