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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — A woman and her family who were at the Gaylord Rockies on Saturday described the moments before air ducts went crashing down.

Ashley Richter of Parker had gone to the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center to celebrate her birthday, along with her two children and husband. That celebration turned into a nightmare.

“Suddenly when we were in the pool (we heard) what sounded like twisting metal. A big kind of creak. And my first thought was that it didn’t sound good before I could process it,” Richter said.

Then, air ducts almost her height encircled the pool as she and her family tried to make their way out. Richter stands 5 feet 7 inches tall.

“Before we knew it, the HVAC was encompassing the pool that we were in, and it was falling down. There was black sludge that smelled like sewage that was falling from the ceiling. It was kind of a panic moment. All hands on deck. Everyone got out of the pool. Assess the situation. My first instinct was getting my children out of the way,” Richter said.

Richter and her husband were able to get to safety. He sustained a 2-inch laceration on his shin.

“And I ran back inside, and I saw individuals who were on the floor and there was blood on the ground. One young woman was receiving care from a group of individuals. They had doctors there on the scene. (I) grabbed my stuff and ran back outside,” Richter said.

Rocks were also seen falling from the ceiling.

The Richters said they, along with so many others, have so many questions about how something like this could happen.