Ceiling Collapse Narrowly Misses Baby Shower in Asbury Park

The concrete ceiling section in the historic Asbury Park Convention Hall fell onto tables and chairs that had been set up for a baby shower

By Brian Thompson
|  Monday, Aug 5, 2013  |  Updated 6:27 AM EDT
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Ceiling Collapse Narrowly Misses Baby Shower in Asbury Park

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A section of an outdoor promenade ceiling collapsed in Asbury Park Sunday onto an area where a baby shower had been set to begin within the hour.

An Asbury Park fire official said the concrete ceiling section in the historic Asbury Park Convention Hall fell just after noon onto tables and chairs that had been set up for the baby shower planned for 1 p.m. No one was injured.

"Definitely if people had been there they would have been killed," said Asbury Park fire department spokesman Garrett Giberson.

Giberson said the ceiling collapse was on the east end of the north promenade, which is an outdoor walkway stretching from the city's famous boardwalk out toward the ocean.

He described it as a 4-inch thick slab of concrete, 6 feet wide by 12 feet long.

"I could hear the rumble and when I turned around saw a dust cloud and people running away from the scene," said Giberson, who was nearby on the beach at the time.

The north promenade of the convention hall has been closed as well as a small section of the south promenade while engineers check on the integrity of the building.

The baby shower was moved to a private hall, Giberson said.

Many concerts have been played in the outdoor promenade, including acts like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

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