21 teens injured after elevated walkway collapses in Texas beach city, officials say

ByShannon Ryan and Chaz Miller KTRK logo
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Portion of deck collapses at Stahlman Park at Surfside Beach
Officials have not yet confirmed how many injuries, if any, but ABC13 is headed to the scene to gather information.

SURFSIDE BEACH, Texas -- Nearly two dozen teenagers from a summer camp were injured when an elevated walkway collapsed Thursday in a beachside city in Texas, with five flown to the hospital by helicopter.

None of the injuries were expected to be life-threatening, Brazoria County officials said. The cause of the walkway collapse in Surfside Beach, a small city on the Gulf of Mexico, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of downtown Houston, was under investigation.

Surfside Beach Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Justin Mills said his department responded to an emergency call at 12:34 p.m. and set up landing areas for the medical helicopters.

Sharon Trower, public information officer for Brazoria County, said all of the victims were between 14 and 18 years old and from the Bayou City Fellowship summer camp. Six were taken to hospitals by ambulance, and about 10 more were taken to hospitals by private vehicles, Trower said.

The ages of the victims vary from 14 to 18 years of age, according to a county news release.

Video from KTRK-TV's news helicopter showed a number of people at the building, including a group of young people wearing matching yellow T-shirts.

KTRK 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 under investigation, authorities said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.