WILDWOOD, N.J. – A multilevel deck of a home collapsed Saturday night on the Jersey Shore at a weekend event, trapping people and injuring at least 22, including several children, officials said. No deaths have been reported.
The collapse occurred at 6 p.m. Saturday in Wildwood during the annual New Jersey Firemen's Convention.
It was unclear how many people were on or under the decks at that time, or how many firefighters were, but authorities say the traps were quickly removed.
The annual convention attracts thousands of current and former firefighters in the resort town. Firefighters are more likely to be injured or trapped.
The Cape May Regional Health System reports that 21 people were taken there, at least three of them children. Eleven patients were released at 10pm, including all children admitted, hospital spokeswoman Susan Staeger said. the remaining unidentified hospitals are unknown.
Photos and videos on social media have shown firefighters trying to lift a piece of decking. The images showed multiple levels of decking being removed from the building and reduced beams and splintered wood.
The decks appear to be attached to a three-storey building and lead to a fourth-floor overhang. The second and third floors appear with a pan on the first-floor deck.
Nearby resident Joann Devito saw a fall from a deck across the street.
"I was sitting on the deck there, and I heard this noise, so I didn't turn around and look at the whole storage thing," he said. "I saw two women running and shouting . It was awful. ”
Wildwood Fire Chief Daniel Speigel said authorities would not make a statement on Saturday amid attempts to clean up and investigate. More information is likely on Sunday, he said.
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