Apartment Near JMU Collapses

Apartment Near JMU Collapses

There are 20 comments on the NBC29 Charlottesville story from Sep 18, 2010, titled Apartment Near JMU Collapses. In it, NBC29 Charlottesville reports that:

Two dozen people were hurt in a building collapse at the Hunters Ridge apartment complex off Port Republic Road near James Madison University around midnight Friday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NBC29 Charlottesville.

mke

Fredericksburg, VA

#3 Sep 18, 2010
it's a miracle there were no life threatening injuries. we wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
stmarie

Palmyra, VA

#5 Sep 18, 2010
Is anyone checking into all the other buildings there for soundness??
George S

Charlottesville, VA

#7 Sep 18, 2010
Lousy construction standards, period.
Reality

United States

#9 Sep 18, 2010
The only explanation and cause---youth youth youth!

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#10 Sep 18, 2010
If these kids crashed down through two stories, they're are lucky there were not more serious injuries than the two who were sent to UVA. Even with a large number in the room, this should not have happened. All the flooring in the building seems as if it was weak. I am glad the building was condemned, and the owners should be held responsible. It sounds as if they were taking advantage of renting to students. I hope the two with more serious injuries will be okay.

Since: Jul 09

Location hidden

#11 Sep 18, 2010
Bengalandi wrote:
If these kids crashed down through two stories, they're are lucky there were not more serious injuries than the two who were sent to UVA. Even with a large number in the room, this should not have happened. All the flooring in the building seems as if it was weak. I am glad the building was condemned, and the owners should be held responsible. It sounds as if they were taking advantage of renting to students. I hope the two with more serious injuries will be okay.
Well it does say there were 27 people taken to the hospital. Which means most of those were probably in the party. Floors are not made to take that much weight. Especially if they were jumping up and down. But the building could also have been condemned because of the recent damage not because of other structure issues.
Too close

South Boston, VA

#12 Sep 18, 2010
This puts a new meaning to "Bringing the house down" hope all are okay, the owners are only as capable as the county inspectors who passed the building and as always there are somethings that just can't be seen but with the right elements are disastrous. Glad everyone is ok.
sarah

Providence Forge, VA

#13 Sep 18, 2010
i agree i do not think the apartment is completely to blame if at all . i have been to many parties here there are way too many people in one apartment dancin, jumping and who knows what else they are gettin into ! it is tragic that this happened and i hope everyone gets better but havin that many people on the third floor carryin on isnt too smart
Common Sense

Ruckersville, VA

#16 Sep 19, 2010
The party organizer(s) and/or host(s) are responsible. You can bet that the county fire code was violated for the safe number of people per square foot of space and for the per sq. ft. loading of the floors. It could also be that there was underage drinking. Hospital blood tests can determine if alcohol involved - which would have influenced "jumpers" and "thumpers" to doing something less than intelligent.
der

Charlottesville, VA

#17 Sep 19, 2010
Reality wrote:
The only explanation and cause---youth youth youth!
old people are just as dumb age has nothing to do with this....
Tom

Waynesboro, VA

#18 Sep 19, 2010
I own the condo on the 2nd floor that was destroyed. Very luckily my daughter and her roommate were not at home for had they been in the living room they'd most likely be dead,
The crowd at the party has been estimated at over 100 with the high estimate of 150. The living room and kitchen area are about 225 sq feet.
My daughter has called the police on her upstairs neighbors and her guests as recently as last week. They have little respect for the community they live in. Those of you blaming the builders, the inspectors, the landlords or anyone else but the irresponsible people who organized this dance party should be ashamed of yourselves.
Tom

Waynesboro, VA

#19 Sep 19, 2010
The building was condemned as a result of the damage inflicted by the collapse. There is no power or water to the building so 9 of the 12 units have been deemed unlivable solely for that reason.
The building will be fully inspected and hopefully the 9 undamaged households will be allowed to return when utilities are restored. Since yesterday the occupants of unaffected units have been allowed to return with security escorts to remove items they need to continue with their lives. My daughter and roommate have the clothes they were wearing and what they had in their pockets when they left the property shortly before the collapse.
An engineering and safety inspection is set for tomorrow. If the still standing portion is deemed stable I hope to be able to begin recovery on some essential items so my daughter and her roommate can return to their studies.
Reality

United States

#20 Sep 19, 2010
der wrote:
<quoted text>
old people are just as dumb age has nothing to do with this....
Yeah I guess you are probably right, the only difference would be no orgies with the old people!
Reality

United States

#21 Sep 19, 2010
Tom wrote:
I own the condo on the 2nd floor that was destroyed. Very luckily my daughter and her roommate were not at home for had they been in the living room they'd most likely be dead,
The crowd at the party has been estimated at over 100 with the high estimate of 150. The living room and kitchen area are about 225 sq feet.
My daughter has called the police on her upstairs neighbors and her guests as recently as last week. They have little respect for the community they live in. Those of you blaming the builders, the inspectors, the landlords or anyone else but the irresponsible people who organized this dance party should be ashamed of yourselves.
Tom thanks for your post, your explanation says it all, again--another example of youth learning the hard way!

“Equal Opportunity Not Results!”

Since: Nov 08

Charlottesville

#22 Sep 19, 2010
der wrote:
<quoted text>
old people are just as dumb age has nothing to do with this....
You are absolutely correct. Stupidity has everything to do with this. This is why we have fire codes, weight limits in elevators, and yes weight limits in housing units. Read a lease agreement for an apartment complex such as the one mentioned in the story. Why do you think that most apartments say no to waterbeds. Two reasons weight and water damage. 27 people cramed into a small area jumping up and down. With an average weight of let's say 150lbs that comes to 4050lbs. Something has to give, and it did!
Bates80

Haymarket, VA

#23 Sep 19, 2010
"They deal with at least three or four calls each year..." for structure failure? Sounds like they need to ramp up the Harrisonburg building code for student apartments
Tom

Forest, VA

#24 Sep 19, 2010
There were 27 people sent to the hospital - many many more walked away without seeking treatment
I spoke with one party attendee who left an hour before the collapse, which is very early by college party standards. He said there were at least 70 people in the living room at 10:30. Some estimates were as high as 150. More then a few party goers guessed the number at around 100.
I was told by a contractor friend that the shattered engineered wooden beam laying on the ground in the video is used in a floor system capable of supporting 145 pounds per square inch. This is static weight - not bouncing in unison or live load.
I'll guess the building standards for student apartments are the same for the rest of us otherwise it would be discriminatory. Students and parents of students want inexpensive housing and beefed up building codes will add to building costs for all. Irresponsible and illegal is best dealt handled with existing laws. Educating the youth of our nation will be a constant challenge and as my dad used to say "you can't fix stupid"
Andy

Roanoke, VA

#25 Sep 19, 2010
Bates80 wrote:
"They deal with at least three or four calls each year..." for structure failure? Sounds like they need to ramp up the Harrisonburg building code for student apartments
As a Project Manager for a Student Housing Development Company.....When building Student Housing you always take into consideration what the students are going to do regardless of what your lease says or otherwise, but with estimates of there being between 100-125 people in a 225sf living room on the third floor of a building what could you expect. The chief said that typical "structure failure calls" are just crumbling drywall. Its hard to imagine any structure that can handle over 100 people jumping up and down.

“Equal Opportunity Not Results!”

Since: Nov 08

Charlottesville

#26 Sep 20, 2010
Bates80 wrote:
"They deal with at least three or four calls each year..." for structure failure? Sounds like they need to ramp up the Harrisonburg building code for student apartments
There is no such thing as the Harrisonburg building code. There is the BOCA building code which all localities follow. This code works as long as it is followed.
Common Sense

Charlottesville, VA

#27 Sep 20, 2010
If the downstairs neighbors have previously complained about the inconsiderate activities above, it could be that this final collapse was the result of cumulative damage from thumping/jumping fat-A parties. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the person(s) leasing the apartment -$ue them and set an example for others who are also creating these dangerous situations!

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