Three dead, dozens hurt as pier collapses

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The Independent US

Three people died and 37 others were injured when a pier supporting a new outdoor nightclub collapsed into the Delaware River. Eight rescue workers were hurt as crews picked through tangled planks and floating debris to reach survivors

Three people died and 37 others were injured when a pier supporting a new outdoor nightclub collapsed into the Delaware River. Eight rescue workers were hurt as crews picked through tangled planks and floating debris to reach survivors

About 40 people were on the pier when it plunged into the 30 foot deep water on Thursday night. A canvas tent over the pier also collapsed, blanketing many people who fell eight feet into the dark, murky water.

Parts of the pier are 100 years old, officials estimated.

The debris and darkness hampered rescue efforts. Firefighter Joe Whoriskey said rescue workers wore wet suits but had to feel for victims with their feet since they couldn't see.

"It was all pancaked in there, the walls fell down on the floor, then the ceiling, you had all kinds of deck furniture and kitchen equipment," said Whoriskey, who received a tetanus shot and antibiotics for cuts.

Though authorities didn't believe anyone was still missing, Coast Guard boats continued to search the water overnight.

"We have not found any additional people," U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Gregory Adams said at a morning briefing.

Nine people remained hospitalized Friday morning. At least one was in serious condition.

The pier held a bar, Heat, which opened last month and is attached to a ballroom dancing area behind the upmarket Moshulu restaurant, in a 394-foot boat docked on the river. The section that collapsed was along the back wall of the ballroom facing the deck, said Stephaff.

Last month, a pier collapsed on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, submerging at least five vehicles and causing about $10 million in damage.

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