- Labor Day surprise: UoW's pier collapses, sending many into Lake Mendota.
- One hospitalized, around 20 with minor injuries; personal items now submerged.
- Pier was set for removal the next day; incident under investigation.
On a day that usually signifies the last moments of summer, Labor Day took an unexpected turn at the University of Wisconsin. While students and locals were soaking up the vibes, part of a pier, a popular hangout spot, decided it wasn’t up for the party.
Located just to the east of the Union Terrace stage on the Madison campus, the metal section succumbed to the weight, dipping a number of celebrators into Lake Mendota's cool embrace.
Those chilling by the shoreline got an unexpected show, capturing the incident on video. The scene wasn't all laughs and chuckles though, as one person had to be whisked away to the hospital, thankfully with non-severe injuries. Another group received on-spot treatment for their bruises, and all in all, around 20 individuals had minor complaints, as mentioned by UW-Madison Police Officer Jeff Kirchman.
Eyewitness Debra Drewek shared her perspective, "Imagine a sardine can but with lively students. They were jam-packed! Then suddenly, whoosh, into the water." Drewek noticed the immediate aftermath; most swam to the shore, some held onto what remained of the pier, and rescue boats soon dotted the waterscape. She pointed out the other casualties of the day: electronics and personal items that had taken an unplanned swim.
Officer Kirchman hinted that efforts are on to retrieve the waterlogged treasures. The pier, interestingly, was buzzing with around 60 to 80 people when it took its dip. While it was open to everyone to enjoy, the nearby lake wasn’t. Swimming was a no-go, and no lifeguards were stationed. But here's the twist: the pier was set to retire the very next day, marking the end of summer, shared school spokesperson John Lucas.
As one would expect, this unplanned lake party is now under thorough investigation.
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