A deck behind the popular Shuckers sports bar in North Bay Village collapsed Thursday night, throwing many of customers watching the Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs basketball game into Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida.
The Miami Herlad is reporting that police and fire-rescue units rushed to the scene after the incident, which happened about 9:45 pm. WSVN-Fox 7 reported that one person was taken to a hospital in critical condition and that four were listed in serious condition.
Helicopters circled over the scene, rescuers carried the victims from the scene on stretchers one after another.
Chris Volz, 39, was an eyewitness and told the news station that he was sitting at the western end of the bar, about 10 feet from where the deck gave way. “Everybody’s watching the game. It sounded like a freight train, then everyone was gone. The deck went down like a V.” He said it happened in a split second and that no one had a chance to get away.
He said bartenders were diving into the water to help rescue the customers that had been enjoying the game. Fire trucks extended their ladders over the water to help the people get to safety.
The restaurant lost power when the collapse occurred, leaving victims and rescuers alike in the dark.
Some other eyewitnesses that were eating at the restaurant about five feet over the water collapsed. One of them said the water was shallow enough for them to stand, but it was difficult to get out because wood, umbrellas, tables, chairs and other debris was everywhere.
“There was a crack, and then we were in the water,” one of the women said. “There was just a crack, and then we were in the water….It was really hard to get out, and you coudln’t find anyone.”
By 11 pm a triage unit had been set up in the parking lot, and victims were still being removed from the water. Traffic on the 79th Street Causeway was closed off in both directions.
Police and rescue units from North Bay Village, Miami-Dade County, Miami, Miami Beach and El Portal responded within minutes of the 911 calls.