Construction mistakes may be cause of condo balcony collapse

A condominium balcony at the Falls at Hayden Run collapsed, injuring two and prompting 156 other decks to be designated at 'unsafe.' (WSYX/WTTE)

Investigators are closer to determining what caused a Columbus condominium balcony to collapse.

The City of Columbus Building Department made the initial determination that the deck that gave way at the Falls at Hayden Run Condominiums was not attached properly to the main structure and the approved specification may not have been followed, according to a building official.

In the day following the collapse several weeks ago, inspectors took swift action and determined 156 balconies of similar construction should be considered unsafe.

Visual inspections are ongoing and ABC 6 On Your Side Investigates just learned it was an attorney that alerted the building department to the crash.

That lawyer represents the father and daughter who were out on the deck when it fell. Neighbors said they’re both still recovering from their injuries.

The city said Lifestyle Communities, which manages the condominiums, has hired an engineering firm to follow up and check everything out.

ABC 6 On Your Side Investigates, with the help of construction professor, Karin Cash, figured out it may be the wrong nails and fasteners used on treated wood that contributed to the balcony giving way.

"The chemical in the wood could very well be eating the fasteners and it could also be a construction design," Cash said. "I'm used to seeing lag bolts, not nails, holding in that ledger board."

Lifestyle Communities did not return requests for comment by ABC 6/FOX 28 as of late Monday afternoon.

Records show the condominiums were built in 2005 and 2006. The building department only keeps blueprints for four years, so it’s still unclear who’s at fault for any potential construction mistakes.

Inspectors, the city said, will be back on the property Tuesday continuing they’re work.

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