Approximately 100 people were fell into Miami's Biscayne Bay when the deck of the popular Shuckers Waterfront Grill gave way during the NBA Finals game Thursday night.
Rescue crews pulled patrons from the shallow water, the Miami Herald reported, with dozens of both police and fire units arriving on the scene to assist after the deck collapsed around 9:45 p.m. reports the Associated Press.
The Miami Herald Reports 24 people were injured and 15 were transported to hospitals in the Miami-Dade area. Two were in serious condition according to Fire Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino.
There are still several questions surrounding the collapse of the deck, and authorities are looking through the snapped planks to uncover what answers they can.
“At this moment, everything is still under investigation,” interim Village Manager Jenice Rosado said. “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.”
Patrons say the collapse happened out of nowhere, sending restaurant patrons gathered to watch the NBA Finals game falling into the water below.
“There was just a crack, and then we were in the water,” Crystal Infante, 23, who was eating on the deck during the game, said. “It was really hard to get out, and you couldn’t find anyone.”
Helicopter's were also employed to search the waters for any people that might have been trapped under the wreckage.
Peter Zalewski of Miami was watching the game when he says he heard "like a rumbling, and then a short time later everybody just disappeared."
“All the tables just sort of disappeared, and then suddenly this whole burst of dust came inside the restaurant.”
Many of the patio umbrellas and chairs hit the people as they came down in the water, leading to scrapes, bruises and cuts on patrons heads.
Zalweski said many people jumped in the water to assist others, moving furniture off of the injured and checking to make sure everyone was accounted for.
“Most of the people were just calling out, ‘Is anybody missing, is anybody missing?’ You just kept hearing that over and over and over.”
Adding to the chaos of the situation, the restaurant lost power after the collapse, so rescue workers and panicked customers had to maneuver through the dark.
Authorities are now looking into details such as when the deck was last inspected or if there was any work completed on it recently.
“We don’t have any idea yet,” she said. “That’s part of what we’re looking into this morning. There’s a lot of departments that need to coordinate information.”