A multi-story apartment building partially collapsed in Florida on June 24. The Surfside building is located about six miles north of Miami Beach and is home to over 130 apartments. Emergency personnel are conducting a massive search and rescue as they continue to pull people from the wreckage.
Champlain Tower South has 136 units, and 55 collapsed, according to ABC 13. “Only 35 occupants, including those injured and killed, were pulled from the rubble,” ABC reported. It is believed that as many as 159 people are missing.
A young boy was found alive in the wreckage early Thursday morning. He was pulled from the parking garage and it is believed that he was with his parents, who are now deceased. His name has not been released to the media, but footage of the amazing rescue was captured by ABC News. Since that rescue, firefighters and police have pulled nearly 35 people from both the building and the rubble itself. A thunderstorm is currently rolling into the area, which may effect the search and rescue efforts.
It is unclear how many people are still left inside the building, though witnesses say that it was mostly full at the time of the collapse. “During a news conference, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed that the 12-story building that was built in 1981 houses more than 130 units. She said about half of the units collapsed.”
The collapse happened on the Champlain Towers South Building located near 88th Street. The cause of the collapse is unknown and police will investigate the horrible wreckage to determine what happened. Work was being done on the roof of the building at the time, but a connection has not been made.
People inside the building described the collapse like an earthquake. A woman who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside Building said “The whole building shook like an earthquake. I opened my sliding glass and I saw a plume of dust and then I opened the door and I saw that the building had pancaked in the back”
People from the surrounding areas have been moved from their buildings just in case more damage happens. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida says “we are bracing for some bad news just given the destruction that we’re seeing.” DeSantis will be traveling to South Florida later today to offer his support to the mayor and other officials of Surfside.
So far, “Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told reporters that at least 10 people were treated for injuries on site. Two of them were then transported to a local hospital, where one died, according to Burkett.” There were 15 families who were able to walk away from the wreckage unharmed, and 3 people are being treated at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.
Police are saying that search and rescue efforts could last up to a week. Because of this, support has been pouring in from Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, and Governor Ron DeSantis.
As of right now, 159 people who lived in the collapsed portion of the building have not been accounted for. It is unclear if they were in the building at the time of the wreckage. While the search for these people continues, officials are asking people to call 305-614-1819 to report their family members missing or to tell officials that they are safe.