911 Calls for Trinity College Deck Collapse Released | NECN
Connecticut

Connecticut

The latest news from around the state

911 Calls for Trinity College Deck Collapse Released

(Published Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016)

Police released the frantic 911 calls after 30 people were hurt in a balcony collapse at Trinity College over the weekend.

Authorities tell NBC Connecticut that it will take weeks, months, maybe even years to vet the situation and determine what caused both second and third floor balconies to collapse.

Police said there were five to ten students on each and, approximately 40 to 50 people total at the off campus trinity party, in a building that Trinity College owns.

Here is one of the phone calls to police:

Caller: “We need help by Trinity College.”

911 Dispatcher: “What’s wrong sir?”

Caller:“The porch just fell.”

Dispatcher:“Is it on Crescent Street?”

Caller:“Crescent Street, yeah,”

911 Dispatcher: “Ok, how many people are hurt?”

Caller:“I think, uh, maybe 6 people. 6 or 7” 6:42

911 Dispatcher:“6 to 7 people hurt, ok, what happened the porch collapsed?”

Caller: “I don’t know. I came out and the porch was on top of people”. 6:48

911 Dispatcher:“Ok, are these people conscious? Can you tell?”

Caller:“They are. They are.”

Caller: “There might be blunt trauma. I can see a lot of bleeding”

911 Dispatcher:“You see a lot of bleeding?”

Trinity senior, 21-year-old Julianna Leone of Chicago fell from that second floor balcony. She was rushed to the hospital to get her scalp stapled shut.

Leone told NBC Connecticut, "I was hit in the back of the head and crushed underneath all the wood. I was trapped for a while."

According to city records the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters dug up, Trinity owns the house where the balconies collapsed and dozens of other properties in the neighborhood.

But because this home isn't a three-family or larger, city officials don't inspect.

Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman, "The last time the deck was inspected? It's a two family home, so city of hartford doesn't inspect single family or two family homes."

Freeman said they are looking into past records:

"The cursory search we've done in the fm office doesn't come up with any complaints for this two-family home on Broad Street, we will look at data in our records management system or any hard copies on file that may come up."

When asked about the criminal aspect of the incident, Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley responded, "We're investigating that, it will be something we try to determine, whether a criminal investigation."

What Hartford police said is they're in contact with Trinity officials, who won't confirm who the property management company is publicly.

Foley added, "We’re aware of the property, it was a sanctioned event, students were all of age and there was a keg on site."

Karen Leone got a call in the middle of the night from her daughter's phone. She was in Illinois. It was a classmate, who was able to put her daughter, Julianna on the line.

Karen leone told NBC Connecticut, "She said something about the porch collapsing."

The mother said she and her daughter are grateful the balconies collapsing was not a worse situation. 

"The last 24 hours, our focus is on julianna’s condition. The school hopefully, with time, will have some answers for us, as the owners. Circumstances with kids on balcony, it is predictable and you have to make sure structures are sound, but they're old too," Karen Leone added. 

Trinity would not answer questions on camera. They released this statement instead:

Trinity college is continuing to care for students who were affected by the balcony collapse that occurred on saturday, september 10, 2016, especially those students who were injured, students present at the social gathering during the accident, residents of the house where the incident occurred, friends and families, and the staff and other responders at the scene.

Two students who were injured in the accident remain in the hospital with moderate injuries and one is expected to be released within 24 hours. The dean of students is in contact with the students and their families for ongoing support.

Trinity is in the process of investigating the incident and we will be cooperating with any authorities representing the city of hartford in their review of this incident. The property is owned by the college and is managed by an outside property manager. Accommodations have been made for the five student residents of the house. The house cannot be occupied, and the students have been relocated to other campus housing.

The trinity community is continuing to process and recover from the incident, and on sunday at 4:00 p.m., students, support staff, and faculty gathered in the trinity college chapel to reflect and offer care and support to one another.

Trinity counseling center staff and chaplains remain available to students, and urgent requests for assistance should be directed to campus safety at (860) 297-2222.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS