US sports bar deck collapses, 100 into water

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In this photo provided by WSVN-TV, divers search the water after a deck collapse at Shuckers Bar & Grill in Miami Thursday night, June 13, 2013. The deck collapsed during the NBA Finals on Thursday night, sending dozens of patrons into the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay. Three people were critically injured. AP Photo

MIAMI — A crowded outdoor deck behind a popular Miami-area sports bar collapsed during the NBA Finals, sending dozens of people into the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay.

Miami Dade Fire Chief David Downey said 24 people were taken to area hospitals late Thursday, and two people were in serious condition.

Authorities said about 100 people were on the deck of Shucker’s Bar & Grill when it gave way.

Customers and rescuers pulled people from the water amid chaos. Downey said crews had completed their search and everyone was accounted for.

“According to witnesses, a lot of people jumped in to help,” Downey said. “Those efforts can make a lot of difference sometimes.”

The accident occurred as customers were watching the Miami Heat play the San Antonio Spurs.

Martin Torres, 42, said he heard a loud explosion and thought a boat had struck the deck. He said he looked out from the restaurant and saw people staring up from the water, and he and others started helping pull them out.

“It was shock,” Torres said. “And then everything was like, man, it exploded. People were yelling. Nobody knew. People came out all wet. They were crying. For a while, nobody knows what was going on.”

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