Emotional Megan recalls orphanage collapse in Haiti

Posted at 11/08/13 2:27 AM

MANILA -- An emotional Megan Young recalled the collapse of an orphanage in Haiti she visited along with Miss World chairperson Julia Morley, who sustained a fracture from the incident.

The 23-year-old Miss World titleholder, in a video posted on the pageant's official website Thursday, referred to the accident as a "traumatic experience."

"Things didn't go exactly as planned today. The team, everyone involved, the kids, we ended up in a traumatic experience. The orphanage that we went to wasn't stable enough for us," she said.

"We went up the stairs, and within seconds, the platform just fell," Young said. "We fell down, the whole Miss World team, me, the kids that I was with."

The incident took place on October 31 at a Port Au Prince orphanage. According to the Miss World website, some 20 children crowded around Young during the visit on the second floor of the building, before the floor they were standing gave way.

The fall left Morley and one of the children, Jonathan, with fractures on the hip and leg, respectively.

"And this is the reason why we do this. This is the reason why we have Beauty with a Purpose," said Young, who appeared to be outside the emergency area of a local a hospital in the video. "It's to help these kids, and it's to make them feel comfort, that they're loved, and that [they are important]."

Turning emotional, she continued, "I think this is even more realization for people. I mean, this is where they live. This is what they go through everyday. And imagine if we hadn't been there to help them, or to realize the state of their home, that it wasn't that safe."

In shock

In an earlier interview published on the Miss World website, Young said she, along with two others, had to hold up one of the decks that fell on them after the collapse.

"At one moment, you're greeting these kids, you're all happy, they're happy," she said in the video released on Thursday. "And then the next second, you're falling down and you don't even know what to do, you're all in shock."

The beauty queen, who hails from Olongapo, then emphasized the importance of engaging in charitable activities, not only for the benefit of children in Haiti, but for other in a similar situation.

"I think it's more of a reason for us to reach out and to help them in what they need. It's not just here in Haiti, it's all over the world -- whether it be in the Philippines or any other place," Young said.

"These kids need attention, and they need that help," she added.

The Miss World video also showed a statement from Morley, who had to be flown to Miami for immediate surgery, saying she will "return to Haiti as soon as I am well enough."

"There is a lot of work still to do. I want to go back and see the children and to check on Jonathan's progress," she said, referring to the boy who also had to undergo surgery.

"This terrible accident highlights the continued need to provide a safe environment for these young children. Many of them were themselves orphaned as a result of buildings collapsing during the terrible earthquake of 2010," Morley said.