Dozens Injured as Miami Bar Deck Collapses During Game 4

by June 14, 2013

The waterfront deck at Shuckers Bar & Grill in Miami collapsed, crashing into Biscayne Bay as Heat fans watched Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Dozens of patrons were injured. Per the Miami Herald: “The accident happened at the popular North Bay Village spot, in back of the Best Western Plus on the Bay Inn & Marina, 1819 79th Street Causeway. Dozens of police and fire-rescue units from around Miami-Dade rushed to the scene after the sudden collapse, which happened about 9:45 p.m., minutes before the game’s halftime, as the Heat was pulling away from the Spurs. As many as two dozen people were injured. By 11:20 p.m., 15 people had been transported to various hospitals, two of them in serious condition, said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Eugene Germain Jr. Another fire captain said one person might be missing and that a search was underway as rain fell. Germain said approximately 100 people were on the deck when it fell into the water. The deck’s official capacity was not immediately known. ‘There was just a crack, and then we were in the water,’ said Crystal Infante, 23, who was eating and watching the game with friend Hernan Reyes, 21, when the deck, about five feet over the water, collapsed. ‘It was really hard to get out, and you couldn’t find anyone.’ Infante said the water was shallow enough for them to stand, but it was difficult for them to get out because wood, umbrellas, tables, chairs and other debris surrounded them. Multiple air rescue units also were called to the scene. 79th Street was shut down. Pictures from the scene showed rescue workers pulling green plastic deck chairs and piles of debris from the water. Leah Masters, a hostess at Shuckers, told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 News that people had just gotten to their feet to cheer a Heat basket when the deck collapsed. As helicopters circled over the scene, rescuers carried people away on stretchers, one after another. Chris Volz, 39, said 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. Bartenders were diving into the water to help rescue patrons. Fire trucks pulled to the water’s edge and extended their ladders to help patrons climb to safety. Shuckers lost power when the collapse happened, casting victims and rescuers alike into the dark.”