Nine injured as garage roof collapses at San Luis Obispo block party

Roof collapse injures 9 at pre-St. Patrick's Day party in San Luis Obispo

Dozens of people were standing on a garage roof when it collapsed around dawn Saturday during a pre-St. Patrick's Day block party in San Luis Obispo, injuring nine, authorities said.

About 30 or 40 college-age revelers were on the roof when it gave way shortly after 6 a.m., according to San Luis Obispo fire Chief Garret Olson. The roof “clearly wasn’t designed for people to be on top of it,” he said.

The injured were among several thousand people that had gathered before dawn for a block party about a half-mile from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus. The crowd, including many wearing green and drinking alcoholic beverages, started drawing noise complaints along Hathway Avenue around 4:45 a.m., police said.

No one suffered life-threatening injuries, but a young woman was impaled in the thigh by a shard of wood, police said.

She and seven others were treated at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and released, while another injured person was still under evaluation around noon Saturday, hospital spokesman Ron Yukelson said.

“It was mostly cuts and bruises,” he said.

An ordinance in San Luis Obispo doubles the fines for public intoxication, public urination, noise and other nuisances for a week around St. Patrick’s Day, according to the fire chief. The idea behind the block party, he said, was to celebrate before the doubled fines kick in. St. Patrick's Day is March 17.

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