33 people were injured in Miami, Florida on Thursday after a deck at a popular restaurant gave way, dropping around 100 people into the ocean, news sources report. At least two of the victims sustained serious injuries and are being treated at an area hospital. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine what factors led to the collapse. It is not yet known whether a class-action lawsuit may result.
According to reports, the incident occurred around 9:45 Thursday evening at Shuckers Bar & Grill on 79th Street Causeway in North Bay Village. The restaurant sported a large deck with numerous tables, allowing diners to eat outside and enjoy a view of Biscayne Bay. Reports say Shuckers was especially busy Thursday night, as patrons crowded the deck to watch the Miami Heat team compete in the fourth NBA Finals game.
Sources say there were around 100 people on the deck when the pillars supporting the deck snapped. The deck plummeted down, sending the diners into the water. “Suddenly there was a sound. It was a loud crash and it all came down,” Rebecca Diaz, who was on the deck at the time, said. “Everyone went down like the Titanic, and I think the lights went out because it got dark and I couldn’t get my foot out until they help me and lifted the deck to get my foot out.” Diaz was among the 33 taken to the hospital; reports say she sustained a sprained ankle.
Marie Torres was near the deck at the time of the collapse. “We heard a loud boom, a loud noise, we didn’t know what it was and when we turned around, we were probably about 10 feet from it and when we looked it was part of the deck just caved in,” he said. “There was a huge splash, there was people in the water, everything, tables, planters from the plants were in the water.”
Eric Williams was also on the scene when the deck collapsed into the water. “We just saw a deck collapse, we didn’t know how deep it was or what-have-you, but it was pretty amazing once you saw other people in the water,” Williams told the press. Reports say Williams dove into the water and helped victims escape.
Dive units from multiple municipalities and the Coast Guard Station in Miami arrived on the scene to rescue the victims. So far, at least two victims sustained serious injuries; an update on their conditions was not immediately available at press time. Police have started investigating the collapse. A spokesperson told the press, “It’s unknown what failed that led to the collapse but obviously something structurally gave out. The reason for that is what the investigation is all about, to find the root cause of why the collapse actually happened.”
The collapse has garnered significant press in the area. Dwyane Wade, a Miami Heat basketball player, even commented on the incident, saying, “I want to share our concerns as an organization and our gratitude to our fans back in Miami for their support.” Miami Heat manger Mickey Arison also offered his condolences via Twitter, writing, “Awful news about deck collapse at Shuckers. Wishing anyone injured a speedy recovery.”