MIAMI -- The back deck at popular sports bar Shuckers Bar & Grill collapsed into Biscayne Bay Thursday night during Game 4 of the NBA Finals, sending patrons into the water off the 79th Street Causeway.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue reported that approximately 100 people had been on the deck; two of them were in serious condition after the incident and another 31 were injured. Twenty-four people were transported to hospital.
Shuckers employee Leah Masters told CBS Miami the crowd had just gotten to their feet to cheer a Miami Heat basket when the deck gave way.
“There was just a crack, and then we were in the water,” patron Crystal Infante told the Miami Herald. “It was really hard to get out, and you couldn’t find anyone.”
WSVN news director Tom Tuckwell witnessed the collapse. He told the station his back was turned to the patio when he heard an enormous roar and spun to see "people disappearing beneath him."
Shuckers lost power as the deck collapsed; rescue divers leapt into the water to search for patrons while two helicopters provided lights from above. A photo shared by a witness on Instagram showed people and patio furniture in the water.
Ultimately officials said, everyone was accounted for. Onlookers were crucial in the rescue effort, Miami-Dade Fire Chief David Downey told the Associated Press.
"According to witnesses, a lot of people jumped in to help," he said. "Those efforts can make a lot of difference sometimes."
It is not yet known what caused the deck to collapse.
“At this moment everything is still under investigation,” interim Village Manager Jenice Rosado told the Herald on Friday. “We have a building official out there at the moment looking at everything. We will have a meeting to regroup and determine where everybody is at.”
Word that fans had been injured reached the Heat Thursday night after they won Game 4 in San Antonio.
“I'd like to share our concerns as an organization and our gratitude to our fans back in Miami, but share our concerns for all that were injured tonight at Shucker's restaurant,” Dwyane Wade told reporters before beginning his customary post-game question and answer session.
"Awful news about deck collapse [at] Shuckers," tweeted Heat owner Micky Arison. "Wishing anyone injured a speedy recovery."
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