The University of Wisconsin-Madison has initiated a probe following the collapse of a swimming pier crowded with students and the general public on Labor Day, resulting in several injuries.
A clip captured during the event reveals many individuals both seated and standing on the Lake Mendota pier just moments before its unexpected collapse, plunging everyone into the water.
Subsequent footage illustrates individuals swimming to stay afloat, while some are visible atop the broken parts of the pier.
"According to the Madison Fire Department, 60-80 people were estimated to have been on the pier when it collapsed, with many swimming back to shore. One person was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries," the University of Wisconsin-Madison said in a statement. "Five others reported injuries and were treated by EMTs and paramedics and released at the scene."
The pier's unfortunate event unfolded at approximately 2:35 p.m. on Labor Day, right in front of the Memorial Union on the University of Wisconsin-Madison grounds.
Authorities noted that no lifeguards were present at the swimming zone during the pier's collapse.
"The UW–Madison Police Department (UWPD), the Madison Fire Department, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin Union staff and UW–Madison Dean of Students Christina Olstad responded to the area to provide first aid and assistance," the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced.
"The pier is currently closed, and UW–Madison will investigate what occurred," they further mentioned. "The pier was due to be removed on Tuesday for the end of the summer season."
Freshman Gabrielle Willbrandt, who found herself on the pier at its moment of collapse, conveyed to WMTV, "I turned to this one girl, and we were like, ‘Oh my God. Did that really just happen?’"
Another individual present, Nicole Mitchell, relayed her experience to the media outlet, stating, "It was really scary. It made a really loud noise at first, and then it was basically a fight or flight response. Me and my friend, who I was swimming, treading water with, we swam as fast as he could back to the dock. Everyone was screaming, looking for their things, making sure their friends were okay."
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