Twenty-four people were hurt, two of them seriously, after the deck of Shuckers Bar & Grill collapsed in North Bay Village Thursday night, authorities said.
About 100 people were on the deck at the time, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Dave Downey said.
They were sent tumbling into shallow water in Biscayne Bay. One man said the water covered his head. He said his first instinct was to save himself and then others.
Authorities received a 911 call at about 9:45 p.m. about the collapse at Shuckers, a popular local hangout at 1819 79th St. Causeway. Part of the establishment is on land.
Anthony Herrera said he and his mother walked into Shuckers just beforehand.
“We walk in, we take a few steps in, my mom’s looking around for a hostess, and you just hear crunch, crunch – curiosity – and then bam, pillar coming down, pillar pillar, and people screaming, people yelling, pieces of wood hitting the water," Herrera recounted. "Before I could really see anything, like I said, my mom grabbed me, and we ran back home, because we live right there down the street.”
Downey said 24 victims were transported from the scene, with two of them seriously injured. About 50 units from various agencies were tending to the victims, he said.
He said late Thursday night that search operations were continuing in the area. Divers from several agencies, including Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Police, were there.
Witnesses said many people were watching the Miami Heat game at Shuckers.
“It’s very unfortunate what has happened," North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps said.
Check NBC6.com for updates.
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Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida