Two were injured after a deck collapse sent 20 people into the water at a Bay Harbor Island building during a memorial service Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The deck collapse happened around 3 p.m. at 9341 E Bay Harbour Drive, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Witnesses said the victims were on the deck to commemorate the life of Brian Gilmore, who had recently died after a battle with cancer. They were throwing flowers into the water in his memory when the deck collapsed.
"We went face first into the water. That was fun," said Mike Carney, an employee of Gilmore's.
Carney said he found himself treading water after the collapse, his phone and keys lost in the water. He said he had some pain from bruising.
Authorities said 40 people attended the wake. Those who fell into the water were able to get to safety before rescue crews arrived. Two were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, according to officials.
Fire officials said it appeared there were too many people on the deck considering the condition it was in, but a thorough investigation is pending.
"The dock appears to be old, however our initial investigation reveals there are some new planks and support beams and securing anchors. So it looks like there were some recent repairs," said Bay Harbor Islands Police Chief Sean Hemingway.
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