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Official: Long Beach balcony collapse hurts 5

Five people were injured after an outdoor deck

Five people were injured after an outdoor deck collapsed at a Long Beach apartment building , sending the victims falling to the pavement 12 feet below. (June 3, 2013) Photo Credit: Bill Bennett

The Long Beach building department has prohibited access to second-story exterior balconies at a 64-year-old apartment complex after one balcony collapsed Monday night, injuring five people.

Scott Kemins, a building department commissioner, said Tuesday that none of the injuries in the balcony collapse were serious.

The U-shaped complex was built in 1949, and Kemins said the age of the building, the deterioration of the balcony's concrete and steel support, plus the weight of the people, contributed to the collapse.

Authorities said a 911 call came in to the Long Beach police department about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Long Beach Lt. Eric Cregeen, said in a prepared statement, "The cement balcony with wrought iron railing collapsed with four adults, one child and a dog. The four adults and child were not trapped, and no one was underneath the balcony at the time of the collapse."

The dog was initially trapped, but recovered, uninjured, Cregeen said.

Victims were taken to either South Nassau Communities Hospital or Nassau County Medical Center for treatment, he said.

The building complex, composed of 261 and 271 Shore Rd., has two balconies and two terraces, Cregeen said, all accessible through individual apartment bedrooms.

All those accesses were blocked off and secured by the Long Beach Fire Department afterward, officials said.

The Building Department is now requiring owners of the complex to hire an engineering firm to inspect the balconies and terraces and make necessary repairs, Kemins said.

Kemins could not say whether exposure to superstorm Sandy was a factor in the collapse. "Obviously the building did take a beating in Sandy and might have had a minor contribution," he said. "Being that the building is 64 years old is the main reason."Kemins said the building's owners, 261 Shore Road Llc, and residents who have access to the second-story balconies have been notified they are off-limits until repairs are made.

The complex has 12 separate units, Kemins said.

With Gary Dymski

and Patrick Whittle

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