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3 at trauma center, 19 treated, released after deck collapse during annual New Jersey Fireman’s Convention

Posted: 4:06 PM, Sep 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-15 16:06:52-04

WILDWOOD, N.J.  — Nearly two dozen people were taken to hospitals after a deck collapsed over the weekend at the New Jersey shore, but authorities said almost all of the victims were treated and released.

The multilevel deck collapsed at about 6 p.m. Saturday in Wildwood during the annual New Jersey Fireman’s Convention, which attracts thousands of current and former firefighters to the resort town.

Cape May Regional Health System spokeswoman Susan Staeger said Sunday that 19 of the 21 patients were treated and released, including three children. 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.

Wildwood’s fire chief said Sunday the second- and third-story front decks of the seven-unit condo building “suffered a complete pancake-type collapse.” 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.”

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. City fire and construction crews are working with the building owners, engineers and contractors to secure a roof currently unsupported due to the collapse, the fire department said in a statement.