At least five people were flown to the hospital after part of an elevated walkway collapsed Thursday in a beachside city in Texas.
It happened at about 1 p.m. at 2211 Bluewater Highway, in Surfside Beach, a small city on the Gulf of Mexico, about 60 miles south of downtown Houston.
According to Brazoria County officials, the incident involved the Bayou City Fellowship summer camp that was visiting from Cypress, Tomball, and Spring Branch.
Surfside Beach Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Justin Mills said at least five victims were in helicopters for medical care. Bayou City Fellowship added that they were flown to Memorial Hermann.
Authorities added that nine more victims were taken to St. Luke’s Lake Jackson via ambulance, and about five more were taken to the hospital by private vehicle.
The ages of the victims vary from 14 to 18 years of age, according to a county news release.
Bayou City Fellowship said a total of 78 students were in Surfside Beach, and the collapse took place when campers from the Cypress area gathered for a group picture.
“While this is a traumatic event, we are blessed to report that none of the injuries are life-threatening,” Bayou City Fellowship wrote in a statement. “We are thankful for the outpour of concern from our community and ask that the city and surrounding areas keep all that are affected physically and emotionally in prayer.”
While conditions of those injured were not immediately available, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center tweeted that additional blood is being delivered to care for patients from the Stahlman Park collapse. The organization urged for blood donations to help keep supplies and emergency vehicles fully stocked.
From news helicopters, a number of people can be seen at the building, including a group of young people wearing matching yellow T-shirts.
Reporters spoke with Ken Wharton, who said he visits the area once a month and was staying at a nearby campground. Wharton said he did not see the moment the collapse happened, but he saw about 25 people on the deck before it toppled.
“The ambulance started pulling in, six of them,” he said.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation, authorities said.