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5 people hospitalized after lighthouse walkway collapses

By Jim Keithley

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    ARROWSIC, Maine (WMTW) — Nearly a dozen people were hurt over the weekend, five people were transported to the hospital when a wooden walkway at Doubling Point Lighthouse in Arrowsic collapsed.

“We came on scene to find approximately 11 patients that were on that ramp and had fallen into the mud with some rocks and some debris,” said Deputy Chief Chris Cummings, of Bath Fire & Rescue.

SKY 8 giving an up-close look at the aftermath of the collapsed wooden walkway. The lighthouse is located on the Kennebec River, just south of Bath.

A section of the wooden ramp collapsed Saturday just before 1 p.m. The lighthouse had been part of the annual “Maine Open Lighthouse Day” where visitors come from near and far to explore the state’s lighthouses.

Emergency responders rushed to scene to tend to the victims.

“When I got here everybody was still out by the lighthouse out in the muddy area,” Cummings said.

A Bath police officer captured some photos showing the aftermath.

“We had to carry one person – we brought one person, so it took four people to carry that one person – and the other ten either walked on their own or with some assistance to a triage area on the grass here,” Cummings said.

One person was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, while the four others were taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick.

Due to HIPPA laws, officials were only giving limited information about the type of injuries the victims sustained.

“Just typical fall injuries and nothing was life-threatening,” Cummings said.

The Doubling Point Lighthouse was built in 1899. A sign at the foot of the ramp said, “caution enter at your own risk.”

Town officials were asked whether the lighthouse had been recently inspected for safety: “Not from our level no,” said Chief Dale Carlton, of the Arrowsic Fire Department.

Officials said there were likely 50 to 60 cars on the property during Saturday’s open house, but they said it’s unclear how many people may have been on the ramp when it gave way.

“How many people is too many for that is – I don’t know,” Carlton said.

The property is owned and operated by a nonprofit called Friends of Doubling Point Light. A spokesperson for the nonprofit issued a statement Monday.

“Our hearts are broken for the people injured,” said Karen McLean, a member of the Friends of Doubling Point Light.

Also Monday, inspectors from Kennebec Marine Services were on the scene.

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