13 hurt in net collapse at Brevard County mission camp

Rope net collapses during group photo at Teen Missions International, officials say

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - At least 13 have been hurt on Friday after a climbing net collapsed at a teen mission camp on Merritt Island, according to Brevard County Sheriff's Office.


The accident occurred at Teen Missions International on East Hall Road just after 1 p.m.

[RAW VIDEO: Local 6 on the scene]

Brevard County Fire Rescue said 11 were taken to Cape Canaveral Hospital and one adult was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center after a 20 to 30-foot rope climbing net collapsed at a summer camp during a camp group photo.

"They were just starting to come down and I think they all took a step at the same time and probably put a lot more strain on it and that's when that big concrete thing pulled out of the ground, so the net slid down," said Camp Director Robert Bland. "It did not come clear down because its got this big chunk of concrete still fastened on the other side of it, but it came down slowly."

Nine of the 11 teens hurt have been released from the hospital, according to the camp director.

Bland said that Jacob's Latter, the rope wall that collapsed, stays inside when it isn't being used and is in good shape. A repairman was called to the camp to fix the rope wall, but Bland says it won't be used again for some time.

Teen Missions International provides short-term missions experience for teens and has bases in more than 25 countries, according to its website.

The evangelical camp has been in Brevard County for more than 40 years and focuses on getting teens ready for mission trips.

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