Moment dozens of University of Wisconsin students disappear into a lake after the spindly pier they were on collapsed under their feet during Labor Day celebration

Moment dozens of University of Wisconsin students disappear into a lake after the spindly pier they were on collapsed under their feet during Labor Day celebration

This is the moment dozens of University of Wisconsin students crashed into a lake after the spindly pier they were on collapsed during a Labor Day celebration.

There were scenes of chaos as around 60 to 80 students plunged into the water during their celebrations yesterday afternoon, just a short walk from their university building.

Video shows the carnage at the Memorial Union Terrace pier at Lake Mendota as the packed wooden deck filled with students in their swimwear suddenly folded into the ocean in a domino formation, as the frightened teens screamed with fear.

A shocked onlooker can be seen viewing the action from the shore as the students hit the water, just a day before the pier was due to be taken down for the season.

‘I turned to this one girl, and we were like, “Oh my God. Did that really just happen?” student Gabrielle Willbrandt, one of the many freshmen standing on the pier when it caved in, told WMTV.

Video shows the carnage at the Memorial Union Terrace pier at Lake Mendota as the packed wooden deck filled with students in their swimwear suddenly folded into the ocean in a domino formation, as the frightened teens screamed with fear

Nicole Mitchell, who was enjoying a swim in the water nearby, said: ‘It was really scary. It made a really loud noise at first, and then it was basically a fight or flight response. 

‘Me and my friend, who I was swimming, treading water with, we swam as fast as he could back to the dock. Everyone was screaming, looking for their things, making sure their friends were okay.’

“I just heard this single cracking noise,” University of Wisconsin student Griffin Beronio, who was near the L-shaped dock at the moment when it folded in, told the Herald. “The middle parts of it kind of sunk way faster than the sides.” 

The fire department arrived at the scene just before 2.40pm. At least 25 people sustained minor injuries, but only one person was taken to hospital, according to the Journal Sentinel. Five people received treatment at the scene.

A shocked onlooker can be seen viewing the action from the shore as the students hit the water, just a day before the pier was due to be taken down for the season

A shocked onlooker can be seen viewing the action from the shore as the students hit the water, just a day before the pier was due to be taken down for the season

The Wisconsin Union said the swimming area beside the pier was not staffed by lifeguards. 

‘Me and my friend who I was swimming with heard a big noise, and the whole dock was collapsing,’ student Nicole Mitchell told WISC.

‘There were dozens and dozens of students on it, just tanning or jumping into the lake or talking with their friends and suddenly the whole thing gave way.’ Mitchell added, noting that students had swum back to shore holding their phones above them to avoid water damage.

An investigation into the collapse is underway.

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