Authorities: 32 people go to hospitals after deck collapse

Serious injuries in Flathead Lake deck collapse

The crowd was gathered to remember William Nickel, 60, a longtime Flathead Valley firefighter who died in April.

More than 50 people were hurt, some severely, after a deck collapsed at Spruce Lodge, a log cabin-style facility located on the west shore of Flathead Lake.

Six people injured were transported by air ambulance.

According to a witness, the people were gathered on the deck during a memorial service. "The operating rooms were busy well into the night".

It wasn't immediately clear how many of those patients remain hospitalized. KRMC Public Information Officer Allison Meilicke said patients were taken to at least five area hospitals.

Fourteen people were taken to local hospitals, Lake County Sheriff Don Bell told ABC affiliate KFBB-TV.

"Of the more than 50 people hurt, more than half of them were taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where doctors say many had bone and ankle fractures as well as neurological injuries that required immediate surgery".

The cause of the collapse on Saturday in Glacier Presbyterian Camp is under investigation.

By the time Havens arrived, he said the scene wasn't as calamitous as expected; he saw people of all ages, from three years old to ages 80 to 90 helping each other.

The camp posted a message on its website Saturday, saying that a major accident had occurred and asked people to "please join us in praying for the injured and their families". First responders from both Flathead and Lake counties responded to the incident. Besides hosting a summer camp, it is a popular spot for religious retreats, weddings and other events.

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