Over 20 Injured When Deck Collapses at NJ Beach During Firefighter Convention - NBC 7 San Diego
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Over 20 Injured When Deck Collapses at NJ Beach During Firefighter Convention

The collapse happened around 6 p.m. Saturday in Wildwood, New Jersey

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Firefighters, Children Among Those Injured in Wildwood Deck Collapse

    More than 20 people were treated for injuries after a multilevel deck collapsed while people were out on the balcony.

    (Published Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019)

    More than 20 people were injured Saturday evening in Wildwood, New Jersey, when multiple levels of decking attached to a building collapsed, trapping several victims in the rubble, officials said.

    The collapse happened around 6 p.m. Saturday in Wildwood, New Jersey, at a home on Baker Avenue during the annual New Jersey Firemen's Convention. The second and third floor front decks of the multifamily condo "suffered a complete 'pancake' type collapse trapping multiple people," Wildwood Fire Department Chief Daniel Speigel said in a press release.

    It was unclear how many people were on or under the decks at the time, but authorities said victims were quickly removed from the rubble. Dozens of witnesses sprung into action to help pull out anyone who was trapped under the debris, including three small children. No deaths were reported.

    One patient was airlifted to a trauma center and another was transported by ground to a trauma center.

    Cape May Regional Health System spokeswoman Susan Staeger said Sunday that 19 of 21 patients were treated and released, including the three children taken there. AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's trauma center reported receiving three patients, but spokeswoman Jennifer Tornetta said family members had asked that no information be released.

    "I can't imagine when the floor goes out underneath you," Wildwood resident Judy Quinty said. "Hopefully they're OK. Say a little prayer for everybody."

    Witnesses reported seeing multiple people eating dinner on one of the balconies shortly before the collapse.

    The annual convention attracts thousands of current and former firefighters to the resort town. Firefighters were likely among those hurt or trapped.

    "Those guys were in shock," witness Diane Hollenbeck said. "They were crying and bloody and they said 'I'm not going in the ambulance until all my men are accounted for.'"

    No deaths were reported.

    Photos and video on social media showed firefighters trying to lift a piece of decking. Images showed multiple levels of decking ripped away from the building and reduced to beams and splintered wood.

    "I was sitting on the deck up there, and I heard this noise, so I turned and looked and saw the whole thing caving in," she said. "I saw two women running and screaming. It was horrible."

    Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.