MOSCOW, Idaho — Saturday night ended in disaster for one University of Idaho fraternity.
A raised platform, built by UI Phi Kappa Tau fraternity members, collapsed and subsequently injured four people. The platform that collapsed was six to seven feet tall, said Brian Nickerson, Moscow Volunteer Fire chief.
First responders arrived at the scene around 11:30 p.m. Nickerson said the four injured people were taken to Gritman Medical Center in Moscow. One of the four was later flown to a nearby hospital because of severe injuries.
Junior Anais Erbe was there when the makeshift fort collapsed. She said building the platform is a tradition of sorts for the fraternity.
“You can … kind of climb up onto it,” Erbe said. “It’s like a little lookout area, basically.”
She said about 30 people were standing on top of the structure when it collapsed; some were standing underneath.
“I went up there because I thought, you know, I wanted to see what it looked like,” Erbe said. “And [fraternity members] immediately kicked me off. And then once that happened, like five minutes after it fell down, they were still trying to get people down.”
Erbe said she is not sure how big of a role alcohol played in the structure collapsing. But that, regardless, students should be more careful.
University administration wrote in a statement they are “working with the injured students’ parents and are trying to better understand the situation.”
Nickerson said they are investigating how the structure collapsed and what went wrong. Moscow Fire is also working with UI and the police department to try and prevent something like this from happening again.
It was a traumatic event for many, Erbe said.
“I know a lot of people on campus that have been shocked by it,” she said. “It was just really just chaotic all at once because no one was really expecting it to happen.”
The fraternity said they are conducting a parallel investigation, as well.
"“First and foremost, our concern is for the individuals who were injured as part of this accident. We hope for a complete and speedy recovery for them. Our members and organization are cooperating fully with authorities in investigating this accident," Phi Kappa Tau said in a statement.
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