4 injured after balcony collapses at Mountain View condo

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A second-story balcony at a Mountain View complex collapsed Wednesday night, injuring several people. Now a bigger investigation of other balconies in the condo complex is underway.

The incident happened around 9:08 p.m. at the Brookview Apartments in the 50 block of East Middlefield Road. 

Four people were on the balcony at the time of the collapse, but when firefighters arrived, they were all safely inside the home, authorities said. 

Firefighters responded and evaluated the three people who sustained injuries. One of them needed surgery for a fractured pelvis. 

Ian Newbury said it was surreal watching the balcony he was sitting on rip away from the second-floor condo.

"Literally out of nowhere, the deck just went from us and we just tumbled down," Newbury said. 

He said it was one of the most frightening experiences he's ever had. 

Linyang Mu said she was scared too when the balcony crashed down on her patio. 

Mu said, "That's why I feel a little lucky and afraid. I'm lucky I'm inside."

The fire department is working to determine the exact cause of the collapse along with the complex management company Associa. 

Andrew Fortin, senior vice president of external affairs at Associa said, "We are currently working with the board and the local authorities to investigate the cause of the collapse."

But so far there has been little information about who is responsible for maintaining the balconies at Brookview, and when they were last inspected.

In a statement, the city of Mountain View said that in 2016 the Homeowners Association got permits to replace some decks due to dry rot. They say this one was not earmarked for replacement.

Residents at neighboring complexes say they're considering independent inspections now.

Brian Koref said, "By looking at the situation here and knowing that people were injured is a wake-up call."

On Thursday crews came to safeguard the area and the board is asking residents at Brookview to stop using all the balconies for now.

They want to hire an engineering firm to inspect. 

"They need to be checked. Because people who live here need to know it's safe to go outside," Newbury said.

California has new legislation signed last year, requiring balcony inspections for multi-unit apartment complexes by 2025, and then every six years after.

It comes in response to a deadly collapse in Berkeley in 2015. However, the city of Mountain View says there are different rules for condo complexes that may put the burden for inspection back on the HOA.