The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday December 10th

Wind rips railing off Kenan Hall Saturday night

Kenan Dorm fell apart in the wind
Buy Photos Kenan Dorm fell apart in the wind

A railing for a second-floor balcony on the hall was blown off by the gusts Saturday night.

Junior Madison Scace, who lives on the first floor of Kenan, said she was in the first-floor TV room when the railing fell.

“It was pretty windy, but I didn’t hear it fall or anything. I went out there, and the community director and the RAs were moving it off to the side, and they had to tape the door so people wouldn’t go out that way,” she said.

Scace said she was surprised by the force of the wind.

“The railing was just on the ground by the steps, and it was just halfway missing,” she said. “I guess I wasn’t really scared, just more surprised because it was weird, and I wasn’t expecting that to happen.”

Paige Abe, the community director for Kenan Residence Hall, declined to comment for this story. She forwarded inquiries to Rick Bradley, director of the Department of Housing and Residential Education, who did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

Sophomore Kelly Whalen, who lives on the second floor of Kenan, said she was not in the building when the railing was blown off.

“It’s like a balcony railing, but it’s a balcony that’s not accessible from the room, so it’s really just decoration,” she said. “It looked rotted, so I’m guessing it was just the wind that caused it to fall.”

Whalen said she does not think anyone was injured when the railing fell.

The Kenan Community seemed to be taking steps to make sure nobody got hurt, she said.

“There was a little bit of caution tape around the entrance of Kenan when we arrived, and a couple minutes later, the whole area was blocked off,” she said.

Senior Connie Chia, who lives in Kenan, said she was out for dinner when the railing fell.

“I came back and Kenan was covered with caution tape, and there were all these bars in front of the building,” she said.

Chia said her first thought was that someone was playing a joke on the residents.

“I thought someone had pranked us and put caution tape all over,” she said. “I transferred from a college where students played pranks on each other all the time.”

Chia said the railing is not intended to keep people from falling, and she does not think anyone lives directly underneath the balcony.

“I’ve seen workmen up there, but I’ve never seen a student up there,” she said.

Sophomore Emily Carrino, Whalen’s roommate, said she was also not present when the railing fell.

“When I looked briefly when I came back, it looked like the front part of the railing was gone, but the sides were still there. I don’t think anything is still there waiting to fall.”

university@dailytarheel.com

CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story misquoted senior Connie Chia, who lives in Kenan. Chia said that when she arrived back at the residence hall, there were a lot of bars in front of the building. The story has been updated to reflect this change.The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

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