Nine people were injured when the deck collapsed during the birthday party in Georgia

MIDWAY, Ga. (AP) — Nine people were injured when a deck collapsed during a family’s Memorial Day weekend gathering on the Georgia coast.

Emergency responders rushed to the home in Midway, south of Savannah, and transported the victims to a nearby hospital, Liberty County Fire Chief Brian Darby told local news outlets.

Marc Barnett said his family rented the house to celebrate his father’s 70th birthday. He said twelve or more people were standing on the second-story deck Sunday night when it gave way under their feet.

“It felt like you were in free fall,” Barnett told WTOC-TV. “We all just ended up in a heap on top of each other. It was a nightmare to see a lot of people helpless.”

Family members suffered cuts and fractures, he said, and those injured included a one-year-old baby and a 90-year-old relative. Still, Barnett said he was grateful no one was killed or seriously injured.

“If someone had been below the deck instead of on it, we’d probably be planning a funeral now,” Barnett said. “Because of that, we feel very blessed.”

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