At least 21 injured when deck collapses at Wildwood, New Jersey home

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Sunday, September 15, 2019
At least 22 injured when deck collapses at Jersey Shore home.
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At least 22 people were injured Saturday evening when a deck collapsed at a home in Wildwood, New Jersey.

WILDWOOD, New Jersey -- Authorities say all but two of the 21 people taken to a hospital after a deck collapse at the New Jersey shore were treated and released, including the three children taken to the hospital.

Cape May Regional Health System spokeswoman Susan Staeger said Sunday the other two patients were transferred to trauma centers, one by helicopter and the other on the ground. There was no immediate word on their conditions.

The decks collapsed on one another Saturday evening at a home in Wildwood, New Jersey.

It happened in the 200 block of East Baker Avenue at about 6 p.m., authorities said. The second and third levels of the deck appeared to have pancaked onto a first-floor deck. Numerous emergency crews were on the scene.

Nearby resident Joann Devito says she was sitting on her own deck when she heard a noise, turned and "saw the whole thing caving in."

She says she saw "two women running and screaming."

Credit: Anthony Bundi

The collapse occurred during the annual New Jersey Fireman's Convention, which attracts thousands of current and former firefighters to Wildwood.

Photos and videos from the scene showed more than a dozen firefighters surrounding the debris, which was scattered in front of a home and on the sidewalk.

Neighbors who witnessed the incident were at a loss for words.

"The screaming. It was just really terrible," one neighbor said.

Chief Daniel Speigel hailed the efforts of first-responders gathered in the area for the convention and parade who jumped into action to help free those trapped.

"Whoever they were, I wanted to throw a shout out to them for helping us get the victims removed," Speigel said. "All victims were removed in under an hour and transported (to the hospital), which is pretty phenomenal."

Many are now hoping the injuries are not too serious.

"Come out and say a prayer," one person said.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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