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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 2:41 am | Fair 54º


10 Injured in Garage Collapse During ‘St. Fratty’s Day’ Party in San Luis Obispo

No fatalities in 'mass casualty incident' at a house near Cal Poly campus; police estimate crowd of 'several thousand' on the scene

San Luis Obispo firefighters responded to the scene of a garage collapse near the Cal Poly campus Saturday morning during a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired party.
San Luis Obispo firefighters responded to the scene of a garage collapse near the Cal Poly campus Saturday morning during a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired party.  (San Luis Obispo Fire Department photo)

Nearly a dozen people were injured when a garage roof collapsed during a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired party near the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo campus early Saturday.

Ten college-aged people were injured and several were taken to local emergency rooms, according to the San Luis Obispo Fire Department. One person reportedly was impaled in the thigh by debris.

An estimated 30-40 people were on the roof of the garage during the early morning party in the 300 block of Hathaway Street, off California Boulevard a few blocks south of the campus.

San Luis Obispo police estimated several thousand people were at the party, many of them wearing green, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. Earlier estimates placed the crowd at around 1,000.

At least three people were arrested for public intoxication.

CALFIRE San Luis Obispo, local police departments, the California Highway Patrol, San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies and San Luis Ambulance responded to the scene and helped control the incident. San Luis Obispo Fire Department officials declared the incident “a mass casualty.”

According to authorities, the party started around 5 a.m. and the collapse happened around 6:20 a.m. Building inspectors and utility company personnel were on the scene by midmorning.

Cal Poly issued a statement saying it is taking the incident “very seriously.”

“This event raises significant concern about the judgment exercised by both the party organizers and attendees regarding the health and safety of themselves and others,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong wrote in a campuswide email Saturday.

“Behavior like this has no place in San Luis Obispo and is counter to the expectation we have of Cal Poly students.”

All Cal Poly fraternities and sororities have been on social probation since mid-January, after several sexual assaults were reported at fraternity houses.

“The university’s Greek Life system remains on social probation pending modifications to education and party management policies outlined in January,” Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier said in a statement Saturday. “Should a Greek Life organization have connections to today’s event, the university reserves the right to exercise additional options regarding the status of social fraternities and sororities.

“Once we have all the facts, the university will respond swiftly and accordingly.”

St. Patrick’s Day is not until March 17 but Saturday’s event is known as “St. Fratty’s Day,” according to the Mustang News, Cal Poly’s student newspaper.

Cal Poly students have final exams the week of March 16-20 and San Luis Obispo bars are known for opening early – around 6 a.m. – on St. Patrick’s Day. Many serve green beer.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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