Posing for a photo on a footbridge near Pierce

Students from Pierce High School and their prom dates pose for a photo on a footbridge near Pierce just moments before it twisted, sending them into the water.

PIERCE — An incident captured on camera before the high school prom here Saturday has gained national attention.

In fact, you could even say the photo mishap has gone viral.

BuzzFeed, NBC Studios and social media have picked up the story of 21 high school students whose pre-prom photo shoot turned into a disaster when the footbridge they were standing on overturned into the creek below.

The bejeweled and bedecked teenagers had gathered at the home of fellow schoolmate Alisha White to make use of her parents' picturesque property as a backdrop for their keepsake photos.

Andy White said his daughter and her friends — and a few parents — had gathered at his home to get photos taken before the teens had to be at prom.

The students took some photos at the house, White said, and then they decided to have a group shot taken on one of the bridges on his land.

Bad idea.

Moments after all 21 teens had posed on the bridge and a few photos were snapped, White said, there was a loud cracking sound and the bridge overturned. The students, decked out in their finery, were unceremoniously dumped into the creek below.

The water below the bridge is about 4 feet deep, White said, so a few of the girls went completely under.

"A lot of the girls ended up just wearing their prom dresses from the year before, and they all still had a really good time, I think. One girl had a clump of mud stuck in the back of her hair though.

"Watching the moms jump in to help their girls — some of them before the bridge had even completely turned over — was the funniest thing. The boys were just running for shore," White said.

There were no serious injuries, but Alisha's mom, Tami White, said other casualties included two broken iPhones, one lost set of keys, one broken pair of Oakley sunglasses and two lost shoes (not a pair). And of course, one broken bridge.

Photos of the students just before the bridge overturned and right after hit the Internet almost immediately. One Pierce High School student, Lane Rohrich, tweeted photos of the incident on Sunday afternoon. As of Tuesday afternoon, he had received over 47,000 retweets and over 57,000 favorites.