On what otherwise would be one of its busiest days of the year, the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach remained closed to the public Monday morning as engineers evaluated its safety in the wake of a boating accident that may have damaged its pilings, police said.

Heavy fog was slowing the inspection of the pier but officials said they hoped a decision would be made later in the morning on whether the popular pier could be reopened to strolling visitors and fishermen on the Labor Day holiday.

“It is a destination for a lot of people, but we have to balance that with safety precautions,” said Newport Beach police Lt. Tom Fischbacher.

An exception was made for employees of a restaurant at the end of the pier, who were allowed to go to work in anticipation that all would return to normal.

“Hopefully that’s a good sign,” said Fischbacher.

On Sunday night, rescuers removed passengers from a large pleasure boat after it lost power and began slamming into the Balboa Pier, officials said. No injuries were immediately reported in the 8:15 p.m. incident. 

The pier was then closed and the restaurant was evacuated.  The 55-foot-long boat was towed away.

The 920-foot-long wooden Balboa Pier, which was first opened  in 1906, is one of two piers in the Orange County beach side community.

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larry.gordon@latimes.com

Twitter: @larrygordonlat