South Florida sports bar deck collapse injures 24
A deck attached to a sports bar just north of Miami collapsed during Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, sending dozens of basketball fans into the water.
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The accident occurred around 9:45 p.m. as customers were watching the Miami Heat play the San Antonio Spurs. The Heat won on the road.Skip to next paragraph
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WSVN-TV news director Tom Tuckwell said he had his back to the bay when he heard an enormous roar, according to the station's website. When he turned around, he saw people disappearing beneath them.
"That was a big gathering watching the Miami Heat and Spurs," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino. "There were a lot of TVs and everybody was in celebration and it was loud. So when it started happening, some people didn't even realize what was going on."
Torres said he looked down and "these girls were looking up. We started grabbing them. They got crazy. People started pushing toward us."
Lt. Eugene Germain, spokesman for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said most of those injured had cuts but one patient suffered a fracture.
He said 50 units responded, and divers were deployed — the water was about 4 feet deep right where the deck was — as air rescue units lit up the scene. Rescuers talked with eyewitnesses and they were able to account for persons they were with.
"We did an extensive search and after completing the search, we didn't find any other victims," he said.
Said Marino: "We could have had a lot more seriously injured people but right now it seems to be a very positive outcome."
Heat player Dwyane Wade said after the game that his thoughts were with the injured fans.
"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," he said.
North Bay Village is a small island in Biscayne Bay with a strip of restaurants, hotels, houses and condos that is attached by causeways to the mainland and also to Miami Beach. Pouring rain fell early Sunday near the Shuckers site, where a reporter later observed pilings sticking out of the water where the deck once was. Wood, chairs and palm trees were piled together in the water in a scene like after a hurricane.
Though not as trendy as South Beach, North Bay Village is one of the many tourist spots in and around Miami where locals and visitors converge.
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North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon Kreps went to the scene afterward and said she was grateful that no one had died.
"This is a real tragedy," she said. "Shuckers has been here for many, many years. People come from all around to enjoy the view and the food. This is really unfortunate."
She said the city would undertake a thorough investigation of what caused the collapse.