By Reg Chapman

FOREST LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — A man broke both of his ankles Saturday after a deck collapsed under 27 people who were posing for a family photo.

The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the home, located on the 18000 block of Harrow Avenue North.

Glen Tulgren says most of his family and a few close friends were gathered at his home Saturday night.

“It’s a heavy duty deck,” he said. “It’s not rotted or anything. It’s been stained and kept up and I can’t explain it.”

He said ages 4 to 84 were present, “and it was all family and good friends.”

He said the family was together to bid farewell to his daughters who are traveling to Africa for four months.

“It was getting close to the time people were getting ready to leave, so we wanted to get a picture of everyone that came to the gathering,” Tulgren said.

So they got everyone on the deck.

“We were getting ready to snap a picture, and then it was like slow motion — it just dropped underneath us and that’s when the deck just gave way,” he said. “It just went boom.”

All 27 people on the deck fell hard. The barbecue grill, huge potted plants and all came tumbling down.

Tulgren’s daughter, who was attempting to snap the photo, ran to call 911.

“It was a real scary situation,” Tulgren said.

Tulgren says Forest Lake fire, EMS and police were there within minutes.

“About five broken ankles, lot of sore backs and sore people this morning,” Tulgren said. “And everyone seems like they are going to do OK. Thank God no one really got seriously hurt.”

The deck was built 23 years ago and experts say you should have decks inspected every 10 years.


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