Former manager recalls problems with deck at Shuckers Bar & Grill

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue treats 24 people, 2 in serious condition

NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. – A former manager at Shuckers Bar and Grill recalled problems with the deck that collapsed Thursday night.

Fifteen people were hospitalized when the deck of the North Bay Village restaurant collapsed into Biscayne Bay. The incident happened about 10 p.m. during a Miami Heat watch party at the restaurant. Two suffered serious injuries.

Rich Sena, a former manager at Shuckers, recalled several problems with the roughly 100 feet by 30 feet wooden deck. He left the company about a year ago.

Sena said loose wooden planks were a constant issue and it became more difficult to screw them back down.

"It wouldn't stick to anything," he said. "The bit would just keep spinning. The screw would spin and there was nothing to grab on to. It just felt like there was nothing underneath to hold on to."

Sena added that a sign posted on the patio says the maximum capacity was 75 people, and he was surprised to hear authorities estimate that 100 people were on the deck when it collapsed.

The Miami-Dade Police Department and a private building inspector hired by North Bay Village are investigating.