NORTH BAY VILLAGE, FL (RNN) – The deck of a popular sports bar collapsed into the Biscayne Bay Thursday as patrons enjoyed Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
According to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue via Twitter, 33 people were injured, 24 patients were taken to the hospital and two are in serious condition at the time of the incident. According to the Associated Press, only one person remained hospitalized Friday.
Officials said eyewitnesses reported there were approximately 100 customers at the Shucker's Bar and Grill in Miami. North Bay Village is a small strip of islands in Biscayne Bay, north of Miami Beach, and is a popular tourist destination of shops and restaurants.
"I was maybe six feet from the deck when it collapsed. All I can describe it as is like a thousand people standing up at the same time," said witness Tom Tuckwell. "It was this peculiar just roar of noise and by the time I turned around, in a split second, where there was once people - I mean 50, 100 people maybe, at least, there was nothing, and darkness and screaming."
Approximately 100 people fell into the water as the deck collapsed around 9:45 p.m., just before halftime of the game. First responders said divers from the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department put on rescue gear, saving fallen bystanders from the water.
"Everybody is screaming and myself going down. The table going up to me. Everything - chairs, everything going up," said victim Flavia Ellenberger. "Glasses – everything, and I fell under the water. When I can't move the table and everything and I can't get out - I get out."
Shucker's hostess Leah Masters told CBS 4 Miami that patrons who did not fall in jumped into the bay to help rescue the fallen.
"From the information we've received, it's a partial collapse of that deck, not a complete collapse," said Lt. Eugene Germain, Jr. of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.
The investigation is now being taken over by the North Bay Village, FL Police Department. Authorities have blocked off the area to investigate further.
"There are no televisions on the deck. They're up in the restaurant bar area. So the majority of the patrons were up in that area," said North Bay Village, FL Police Chief Bob Daniels on Thursday. "But my understanding, the feedback that I got, though I haven't confirmed it, is that even if there were 100 people as reported that were on the deck at that time that's well within the margin of the capacity for that deck."
The patrons were watching Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs Thursday. The Heat won 109-93.
More than 18 different first responder groups responded to the 911 call, including the local Coast Guard, Fire Rescue, air rescue and divers. According to WSVN, all patrons have been accounted for and no one is missing.
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street