As many as 21 children and two adults were injured on November 11 when the platform at a San Diego, California, parkour facility collapsed. Some of the children went to the hospital with neck and back injuries, officials reported. Investigators are looking into what might have caused the structural failure, including whether there were too many people on the platform at the time.
Approximately 50 Children Were on Platform During Collapse
Approximately 150 children and youth were in Vault PK, a trampoline and gymnastics facility when the platform collapsed at around 7:30 p.m. According to the father of one of the children in the gym, the children were called to the platform to get pizza. When approximately 50 children—and some adults—were on the platform it collapsed, sending glass shards and debris across the gymnasium floor. The platform itself was 10 feet by 30 feet and sat 10 feet above the ground. Some of the injured were beneath the platform when it collapsed.
Four youths were taken to the hospital in serious condition. They suffered injuries to their spine and neck. Additionally, two women ages 72 and 46 were taken to the hospital with injuries. Officials noted that some children might have gone to the hospital separately with their parents.
Among the injured was 16-year-old Nailey, whose pelvis was reportedly broken in three places, leaving her unable to walk. She is now in the hospital where she will stay until she recovers. Her brother Omar and her mother were also injured in the parkour platform collapse.
“All of a sudden [the platform] just collapsed,” said Omar. “It was really scary. I got a huge cut on my foot.”
Omar and Nailey’s mother suffered a broken arm and shoulder.
“She just came out crying,” Omar said. “I started crying too and I hugged her.”
Other children and parents reported being uninjured, but traumatized by what they saw.
Investigators Looking Into Parkour Platform Collapse in MTS Building
In addition to determining what caused the platform to collapse, investigators are checking to see if the building, which is owned by MTS, is still structurally sound. San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesperson Jose Ysea noted that investigators would also look into whether the center had all necessary permits.
The facility was in the middle of an open-gym night known as “Kids Night Out” for all children and youths ages five to 14. Included in the children was a group that gathered for a birthday party. The parkour center also reportedly offered a Groupon for the open gym, which may have drastically increased the number of youths in attendance.
“It was a freak accident,” said Zachary Smith, who was on the platform when it collapsed. He noted, however, that the platform did not seem to be built to support the weight of the people who were on it. Another parent pointed out that the stairwell collapsed after children ran up and down it for the pizza.
Employee Describes Chaos as Vault PK Platform Collapsed
Patrick Minor is an employee at Vault PK and made the 911 call after the parkour platform collapse.
“The first thing I heard was wood cracking and that was the initial noise that I heard followed by the loudest possible thing I could hear—the crash of the balcony, then screams. I saw kids running and screaming.”
Neighboring Business Shut Down for Investigation into Structural Failure
Total Combat Paintball shares the building with the gym. In a statement regarding the parkour platform collapse, the company said, “It was business as usual until we heard a loud boom come from the gym, at which point our staff and some customers ran over to the gym to help any way we could.”
In a separate statement posted on the company’s website, Total Combat Paintball announced it was shutting down temporarily to help with the investigation and expressed its sadness at the events of November 11.
“We are committed to providing a safe and family oriented venue,” the company wrote. “Our hearts go out to the families involved.”
Vault Parkour Issues Statement
The day after the San Diego platform collapse, Vault Parkour issued a statement expressing its sadness about the events and announcing it would close for the time being.
“As a small family business with young children we are truly heartbroken today, as your children and their parents aren’t just our members-we see them weekly, they are our gym family… We are working with authorities and will continue to do so to resolve this.”