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UER Forum > Archived UE Main > Wood flooring and a sobering experience (Viewed 1886 times)
DJ Craig 

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Wood flooring and a sobering experience
< on 1/18/2010 5:20 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Today at MAMU, uLiveAndYouBurn, BounceWiggle, GretschDiva and I went to a certain huge, fairly recent industrial abandonment. We spent some time in the powerhouse, but GretschDiva and I were done with it before Bounce and ULAYB so we went to another building on our own. We went up some stairs to a low catwalk (about 6 feet off the ground) that had wooden flooring. The catwalk, like the rest of the huge facility, was in very good condition and did not appear to be risky at all in terms of structural integrity.

We were wrong about that part. Turned out there was a broken window where water had been leaking in for a while and had caused some (almost invisible) structural damage to the wood. One moment we're idly wandering down a solid wooden floor, her in front of me, and the next moment there is a huge hole in the floor and she is laying in a pile of broken glass on top of hard concrete 6 feet below me and very clearly hurt.

We got out of there...without involving the authorities in any way. But it turned out her middle finger was broken in 2 places, her index finger was fractured, her ring finger was dislocated, and her coccyx (tailbone) was broken. They also did an MRI because they thought she had an L5 compression fracture (a very painful back injury that takes a long time to heal) but fortunately she didn't. She's going to have to take a little time off work (she works in a hospital), probably won't be able to explore much for a while (they told her not to walk much), and of course she has medical bills to deal with, but overall she's doing ok.




The moment that she disappeared through the floor in front of me was probably the most terrifying experience I've had in all the time I've been exploring. It really made me think about some stuff today. First of all, it gave me a renewed healthy respect for the dangers of wooden flooring. It was something I had become gradually less and less cautious about after exploring almost every day for years and never actually having that happen to anyone I know. It was almost starting to feel more like a theoretical risk than a practical one, but it is a very real risk and can happen so fast and unexpectedly, and has the potential to happen in most of the locations we go to. She had absolutely no warning that it was going to happen, and once it happened, there was just absolutely no chance that she could catch herself; the hole was far bigger than her.

Just about 30 minutes before that, the four of us were walking around on a much higher wooden catwalk in the first building. Mind you, we were being much more cautious up there, and the flooring was absolutely at the front of our minds the whole time we were up there. But it's still terrifying to think about what could have happened if one of us had fallen up there, instead of on the 6 foot catwalk. People very rarely think about how abruptly and unexpectedly life can go, at any moment, from being completely happy and fun to being destroyed or transformed drastically. Also, the human capacity for the perception of pain, emotional or physical, is something that is very easy to underestimate when one is happy.

Life is a series of risks, and if you never take any, you never really experience life. There's no way either me or her would be motivated to stop exploring because of this experience, or to stop taking risks. For me, pushing the physical limits of my body and seeking out the extremes within our urban environment makes me feel more alive and free than anything else in the world, and I will never let that go.




If you have had some kind of similar experience, related to getting hurt or getting caught or anything else, share your story here.

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 1 on 1/18/2010 6:02 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
OH! JESUS! That sucks! It's weird to think of something like that happening to someone who I was just exploring with myself two days ago! This is why I don't care much for old wooden houses...

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 2 on 1/18/2010 6:13 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
indeed that sucks! sorry diva got injured, but glad she's ok!



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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 3 on 1/18/2010 6:14 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
i would call a lawyer

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Intrinsic 


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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 4 on 1/18/2010 6:22 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by musket boy
i would call a lawyer


This is why No Trespassing signs are posted in abandoned places, to prevent liability. If property owners were sued (or attempted to be) by people who were on their property, you can also be sure that they'd be more likely to prosecute people who are caught - rather than let them go.

It comes with the hobby, you can't really plead ignorance and hold someone else liable when you disobey.

DJ Craig 

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 5 on 1/18/2010 6:27 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by musket boy
i would call a lawyer


I lol'd.

Posted by Intrinsic

This is why No Trespassing signs are posted in abandoned places, to prevent liability. If property owners were sued (or attempted to be) by people who were on their property, you can also be sure that they'd be more likely to prosecute people who are caught - rather than let them go.

It comes with the hobby, you can't really plead ignorance and hold someone else liable when you disobey.


Especially considering that this location has a 24 hour patrolling security guard, among a few other location-specific factors that I won't discuss on a non-FM thread...

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
kts 


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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 6 on 1/18/2010 2:53 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
very sorry to hear about GretschDiva's fall and injuries but glad to hear she is doing OK relatively speaking. it's amazing what damage a relatively small fall can do to the human body.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 7 on 1/18/2010 2:55 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
No idea what building this is, but you mentioned power house, so I'm assuming it is en route or on the conveyor?

Abandoned
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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 8 on 1/18/2010 3:09 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Oh wow. It is wierd, sickening, disheartening, etc... to know someone in our hobby got hurt, especially someone I've had the pleasure of meeting.

I hope everyone (I mean everyone, cuz I know even those that didn't get hurt were shaken) are OK. Please pass along my well wishes to GretschDiva.

When twilight draws near, when you are pushed to the very limits of your soul, when it seems that all you have left are the dead remnants of the fabric of your life:
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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 9 on 1/18/2010 3:11 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Good on you for keeping it together and helping her out of there, and I hope she heals up quickly.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 10 on 1/18/2010 3:41 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I've lost my foot thru a floor but never outright fallen through.. scary. I'm always very very careful on wooden flooring. Stick as close to the walls as you can, and if it's too sketchy, turn back.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 11 on 1/18/2010 3:46 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
My sympathies to both of you. It seems quite weird that we were all having a grand time Friday night and now this. This is a good reminder of the necessity of caution and care. I hope she has a speedy recovery and is back in action soon.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 12 on 1/18/2010 4:34 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks for sharing. I went through a floor on one of my first major explores, but luckily there was a sub-floor only about a foot below it, so I escaped any injury except one of the biggest adrenaline jolts of my life. I think I've definitely gotten a lot more cavalier about it recently, though, so it's good to have a reminder. I hope GretschDiva recovers speedily- tailbone injuries are a BITCH.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 13 on 1/18/2010 5:03 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'm glad you guys are ok, especially her. Gotta be careful out there people.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 14 on 1/18/2010 5:30 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Hope everything turns out alright

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 15 on 1/18/2010 5:38 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I've never had a floor other than ice go out under me. However, I'm allways very very cautious with non-galvanized steel catwalks, and try to walk only over the beams.

I have once seen a thread of a stair fall down about 8 metres, just by itself, without anyone being on or near that stair.

However, 2 years before that, I had scaled that same stair (the building, Hasard in Cheratte, is abandoned since 1957). I will not go up there anymore.

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Steed 


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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 16 on 1/18/2010 5:39 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
That's terrifying. Why have I been getting so much bad news tonight?

Last weekend I saw a couple friends enter a partially demolished concrete structure before I could stop them. It was a nailbiting couple of minutes but they made it out alive.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 17 on 1/18/2010 5:56 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Hope everyone is okay and she's feeling better soon. I appreciate your sharing the story, we all need that little reminder once in awhile that what we do comes with very real risks. The mention of medical bills makes me cringe; I don't even wanna know what it cost her. I love my Canadian health care; we have it good here.

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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 18 on 1/19/2010 12:57 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Despite no trespassing signs, there still is a high likelihood of a settlement.

Abandoned buildings are considered attractive nuisances in many jurisdictions, which means that no matter the means of security, if somebody gets in and injures themselves the owner is still responsible.

Swimming pools are a classic example of attractive nuisances, which is why swimming pools often detract from a property's value.

Either way, if I were in this situation I would not file a lawsuit of any kind. I acknowledge the risks involved with this activity and take full responsibility of my actions. You have to always access risks in these buildings, and having a knowledge of structures and what the elements do to building materials certainly helps immensely. Good luck to her recovery.
[last edit 1/19/2010 1:00 AM by tron_2.0 - edited 2 times]

[quote][i]Posted by yokes[/i]
I find your lack of coziness.... disturbing.
[/quote]
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Re: Wood flooring and a sobering experience
<Reply # 19 on 1/19/2010 1:24 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
i'm very sorry that an explorer got hurt, but IT IS a risk that we take. You are in an environment that is most certainly hazardous and possibly life-threatening, especially the further from the ground you get.

I don't mean to be a killjoy here, but the idea of suing over getting hurt while trespassing in an abandoned building is just a little on the absurd side. Maybe it's just where I am from, or the fact that I am getting stodgy in my middle age, but that's just the way I see it. You were trespassing... Folks, there is a reason some of these buildings are closed off. Could this accident been avoided? Probably not. Sooner or later, the law of averages catches up with us all. Unfortunately is was these folks' day.

I am very sorry for GretschDiva's injuries and wish her a speedy recovery.
Also, DJ, kudos to you for keeping your head, acting calmly, rationally and not losing your cool.



UER Forum > Archived UE Main > Wood flooring and a sobering experience (Viewed 1886 times)
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