Critical patients upgraded in deck collapse

Posted June 20, 2017

The crowd at the time was gathered on the deck to remember William Nickel, a longtime Flathead Valley firefighter who died in April.

A witness to the collapse of the second-story deck of a Montana lodge during a memorial event for a firefighter says about 50 people were gathered on the structure overlooking Flathead Lake.

Most of the injured were taken in ambulances or transported by helicopters, while 10-15 people went on their own Saturday, Bell said.

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Those injured were attending a memorial service at Glacier Camp's Spruce Lodge when the balcony on the second floor collapsed, according to KFBB-TV. "The operating rooms were busy well into the night".

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell says his department won't investigate the collapse because there wasn't a crime. KRMC Public Information Officer Allison Meilicke said patients were taken to at least five area hospitals.

Other patients were taken to hospitals in Whitefish, Polson, Ronan and Missoula.

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There is still no word on what caused the deck to collapse.

North Valley Hospital, Kalispell Regional Medical Center and Missoula hospitals were treating the victims, according to Lakeside/Somers Fire Chief Tom Havens. There were no fatalities, he said, but some people with serious injuries were airlifted from the scene. Please join us in praying for the injured and their families.

Brian Reed with the Lakeside Quick Response Unit says around 4:30 p.m. a 9-1-1 caller reported a deck had collapsed with around 30 people on it. Reed was the first responder to arrive on scene. The camp's website lists a summer retreat on the weekend of June 17 and 18.

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