Three adults and a 10-year-old are hospitalized after climbing structure collapses during 5k obstacle race
- The accident occurred during the 'Warrior Dash' race on Saturday
- It took place at the West Feliciana Parish Sports Park in St Francisville
- More than 20 people were on the 'Diesel Dome' when it collapsed
- The 30-by-50-foot arched wooden framework had inadequate bracing on the obstacle, investigators say
A 10-year-old child and three adults have been hospitalized with injuries from the collapse of a climbing structure during a 5K obstacle race in Louisiana.
More than 20 people were on the 'Diesel Dome' when it collapsed on Saturday during the 'Warrior Dash' race at West Feliciana Parish Sports Park in St Francisville.
Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Brant Thompson says preliminary findings indicate that there was inadequate bracing on the obstacle.
The structure is shown on the website for the national race series as a 30-by-50-foot arched wooden framework and billed as having 'views of the ground that will ignite your vertigo.'
A 10-year-old child and three adults have been hospitalized with injuries from the collapse of a climbing structure (above, after the collapse) during a 5K obstacle race in Louisiana
Thompson said 12 were transported by ambulance or helicopter, and he doesn't know how many others were hurt.
He says organizers told investigators it's the first such accident in the race series, and investigators are checking to see whether that's true.
The worst of the injuries was a broken femur and a head injury, according to West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Austin Daniel.
Jason Phillips, of Jena, hurt his right ankle when the structure fell.
'People were telling us all day long there was something wrong with it, that it was unsound,' he told The Advocate.
He added that it took around 10 to 15 minutes before the injured racers got help because 'nobody from the event staff knew anything was wrong.'
More than 20 people were on the 'Diesel Dome' when it collapsed on Saturday during the 'Warrior Dash' race at West Feliciana Parish Sports Park in St Francisville
Brandi Taylor said she was climbing to the top of the 'Diesel Dome' when it started leaning and collapsed.
'It was very scary because it happened in slow motion,' Taylor, a nurse from Jena, told the local newspaper.
Rebecca Gaillot said she had just gotten off the structure when it collapsed - and blasted the race organizers for their poor response.
'Just seconds after we got off, it collapsed,' she wrote on Facebook.
Rebecca Gaillot said she had just gotten off the structure when it collapsed - and blasted the race organizers for their poor response
The structure is shown on the website for the national race series as a 30-by-50-foot arched wooden framework
She added: 'It appeared the Warrior Dash had no plan or a poor one at that. No one was monitoring this structure to tell us when to get on.
'It was made with 2 by 4s nailed not even screwed.'
Gaillot said that organizers continued the race despite the accident.
'They continued it IN BETWEEN the area with the hurt people and where the helicopters landed to take them away.
'They continued allowing people to start the race and continued the after party.
'The response to this event was dismal and the structure was poorly constructed and clearly dangerous.
Organizers told investigators it's the first such accident in the race series (above, participants in the race in 2014)
'My heart goes out to those whose hands we held waiting, to those with broken pelvis and arms and legs.'
Around 5,500 people participated in Saturday's event, according to the Advocate.
The company that runs the 'Warrior Dash' national race series, Red Frog Events of Chicago, could not immediately be reached for comment.
In a statement to the Advocate, Lauren King, the race's director of public relations, said: 'Our thoughts are with the injured participants and their families.
'The safety and security of our racers and spectators are paramount at our events. We are currently evaluating the situation.'
A representative interviewed by Thompson did not answer her cellphone, and an email and a call to the company's office on Sunday were not immediately returned.
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