I went to a party last night. It was hideously overcrowded; it took forever to perform simple tasks (go the the bathroom, get a beer). There were two balconies, one above the other, both stuffed full of people. Then the upper balcony collapsed. A couple of my friends were on it at the time. They were leaning on the railing, which remained intact, and after the floor had vanished from beneath them they grasped it and shimmied to safety, realizing only then that they were still holding onto their beers and cigarettes.
Sadly, the ridiculous party continued. Initial reports indicated that no one had been hurt, but later rumours of injury and hospitalization began to circulate. (Rumour yeah, I guess I won’t believe anything until I see it in the New York Times.) Minutes after the collapse, there were just as many people trying to get onto the remaining balcony as were trying to get off. I left, though, with some other right-thinking individuals. In all honesty, not for rational reasons: I kept thinking the entire building was going to crumble to the ground.
I hesitate to metaphoricize this petty disaster.