ome Labor Day fun in the sun came to an abrupt halt for dozens of students enjoying a lake day at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
On Monday, 60 to 80 students gathered on a pier by Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, which is owned by the university, per USA Today, before the dock suddenly collapsed beneath them and plunged into the water.
In a video of the incident, the pier can be seen crumbling beneath a large crowd of unsuspecting lakegoers.
Approximately 80 University of Wisconsin students plunge into a lake as the pier they were standing on collapses beneath them. No one was seriously injured. pic.twitter.com/Onx9oDMsiF
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) September 5, 2023
The crash caused minor injuries, according to police, with five people treated by paramedics at the scene and one hospitalized with non-threatening injuries.
Those who fell in were able to swim back to shore.
Local reports say the pier was “not staffed” at the time of the incident.
Prior to the accident, the pier was due to be removed for the summer season on Tuesday, according to a statement from the university. The school confirmed the pier is now closed and the incident is under investigation.
The Wisconsin tourism industry generated $23.7 billion in total economic impact in 2022, setting a new record for the state, Governor Tony Evers announced in June.
“Tourism is vital to the economic health of local communities, businesses, and workers across our state, and I’m proud of our work to support this critical industry and its success over these past few years,” Evers said at the time in a press release. “We must continue to make key investments in Wisconsin tourism to ensure it continues to be a key part of our economy for generations.”
The university’s Madison campus sits on the south shore of Lake Mendota, according to Lakeshore Nature Preserve, and spans 15.3 miles.