Jamill Purnell was the first to see it happen.
He was at the Blu Cantina Lounge on Peters Street in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood when the roof gave way Monday night.
“I heard a creaking sound and I looked up into the top right corner of the restaurants and I saw the roof start to crack,” Purnell said.
Purnell told his fiancé and her friend to get outside and then yelled for everyone else in the restaurant to go.
Almost half the roof collapsed.
Witnesses described chaos as dozens of customers poured out into the street.
“There was like a foot and able of water inside the Cantina,” Purnell said. We were crawling through water, under the ceiling, trying to get out one little crack in the door.
Purnell – still stuck under the rubble – couldn’t feel his legs.
“I kind of thought it was over,” he said.
But it wasn't. A security guard pulled him out onto the street. Motionless, he was taken to Grady with a head injury. He was discharged but went back on Tuesday because he was still in pain.
“I can't even really walk,” he said. “It hurts really bad to walk. I had to walk in and get a wheelchair...I’m just glad it wasn't a lot worse.”
In all, six people were injured – four were taken to the hospital.
Authorities believe rain may have played a role in the roof collapse.
The two businesses on either side of the cantina have temporarily closed pending an inspection.
PHOTOS | The morning after the collapse