Miami Beach condo building collapse live – Mass casualties feared in Surfside Florida as horror scene compared to 9/11

AT least one person is dead after a 12-story apartment block partially collapsed near Miami beach, reports say.

Witnesses reportedly heard screams from the rubble as around 80 emergency crews responded to the incident in Surfside around 2am on Thursday.

“People with loved ones still inside are telling me this is like Ground Zero," one reporter said, comparing the building's collapse to the September 11 terror attacks.

Officials confirmed on Thursday afternoon that 99 people were still unaccounted for, 102 have been found, 35 people were pulled from the wreckage, and 11 of them were injured.

Footage shows a large section of the apartment building, called Champlain Towers South, that had collapsed into a pile of rubble near Collins Avenue on 88th Street, NBC Miami reports.

Authorities said they could hear "sounds of a possibility of people banging…well, not people banging but sounds of a possibility of a banging" from within the site.

It's reported that Miami Dade authorities have declared a "Level 5" mass casualty event meaning statewide emergency resources are required.

Read of Miami Beach apartment collapse live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Katie Balevic

    GOFUNDME RAISES NEARLY $45,000

    A GoFundMe has raised nearly $45,000 in relief for the residents of the condo collapse. Their goal is $100,000.

    "Please help raise money to be distributed to the families that are forced to be relocated and the families of the victims. This is a horrible tragedy and let's do our part to help in any way we can," the fundraiser reads.

    "Donations will be sent directly through GoFundMe to The Shul of Bal Harbour's Central Emergency Fund to be dispersed directly to the victims and families. As a member of this amazing community I personally thank you for your help in this truly trying time," organizer Zach Sohn said.

  • Katie Balevic

    WHY DID IT HAPPEN?

    Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said there were "structural" issues and said engineers are determining the risk after the collapse and what caused it.

    The Miami-Dade police will conduct the investigation after the search and rescue is complete.

    "There will probably be federal resources involved in the investigation also," Cava said.

  • Katie Balevic

    WOMAN TRAPPED UNDER 'MOUNTAIN OF CONCRETE'

    First responders identified a woman who was trapped under a "mountain of concrete," according to Miami Herald.

    Responders lost voice contact with the trapped woman, said Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management.

    “We’re still working on getting to her,” he added.

  • Katie Balevic

    MOTHER'S LEG AMPUTATED AFTER TRAPPED UNDER RUBBLE

    As first responders tried to find survivors on Thursday morning, a woman and her child were rescued, Miami Herald reported.

    Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, said they had to amputate her leg in order to free the mother, who was trapped.

  • Katie Balevic

    YOUNG BOY PULLED FROM THE RUBBLE

    A young boy was pulled from the rubble on Thursday morning.

    He was one of two people that were pulled from the debris after the building collapsed at approximately 1.30am on Thursday, WPBF reports.

    Over 80 rescue units are at the scene. Rescue dogs are also searching for survivors.

  • Katie Balevic

    PEOPLE COMPARE THE COLLAPSE TO 9/11

    One reporter said people are comparing the building's collapse to the scene after the World Trade Center towers collapsed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

    "People with loved ones still inside are telling me this is like Ground Zero. I’m hearing one testimony after another of desperation as they anxiously await any news," reporter Morgan Rynor tweeted.

  • Katie Balevic

    GOVERNOR'S CHALLENGER ALSO URGED STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION

    Nikki Fried, who is challenging Ron DeSantis for the Governor's seat, urged him to declare a state of emergency on Thursday afternoon.

    Fried tweeted: "Like @MayorDaniella said, there’s no time to waste on this. @GovRonDeSantis — it’s crucial that you declare a state of emergency ASAP. #SurfsideBuildingCollapse."

    After DeSantis declared the state of emergency, Fried commented: "Good — it was the right thing to do."

  • Katie Balevic

    MAYOR URGED GOVERNOR TO DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY

    Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava signed a local state of emergency and urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to do the same.

    "I just signed a declaration of local state of emergency that will immediately begin to allocate the necessary resources we need here on the ground. I urge @GovRonDeSantis to do the same at the state level," the mayor tweeted.

     

  • Katie Balevic

    PRESIDENT BIDEN PUT PRESSURE ON GOV. DESANTIS

    President Joe Biden had a "long discussion" with Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Thursday about the building collapse, the Miami Herald reports.

    Biden emphasized that DeSantis needed to declare a state of emergency in order for the county to access federal resources.

    “We are ready to move federal resources immediately,” Biden said. “We can’t go in and do it but FEMA is down there taking a look at what’s needed, including whether the rest of the buildings need to be evacuated as well.”

    “I’m waiting for the governor to declare an emergency,” Biden went on. “We’re working on it, and I made it clear, I say to the people of Florida: Whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we’re waiting. Just ask us, we’ll be there. We’ll be there.”

  • Katie Balevic

    GOV. RON DESANTIS DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County in response to the building collapse in Surfside, Florida.

    The declaration will allow federal resources, such as FEMA, to be made available as rescue efforts continue.

  • Katie Balevic

    VIDEO SHOWS THE HORRIFYING MOMENTS OF THE COLLAPSE

    A local reporter shared video of the building collapse.

  • Katie Balevic

    THE SEARCH FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS CONTINUES

    One woman named Yancy Ranalli is searching for three of her friends – Pilar, Julio, and Terry Velazquez.

    She said that "she’s been trying to call them all morning, still hasn’t heard anything," according to a tweet from a reporter on the scene.

  • Katie Balevic

    ONE WOMAN DESPERATELY SEARCHES FOR HER HUSBAND

    The woman said her husband, Brad Cohen, was on the 10th floor of the building. She has not heard from him since the collapse.

  • Katie Balevic

    RECOVERY TEAMS TRY TO IDENTIFY 'KNOCKING SOUNDS'

  • Katie Balevic

    'SOMBER' SCENE AS FAMILY MEMBERS WAIT TO FIND THE MISSING

  • Katie Balevic

    TENANT HAD BEEN 'COMPLAINING ABOUT ROOF REPAIR'

    One person residing in the building that collapsed was a "dear friend" who remains missing.

    A reporter shared a message from someone who said their friend was staying in one of the now-exposed rooms.

    "The apartment with the bunk beds and the desk chair is that being rented by our dear friend Linda March," the person said. "She is an attorney who just moved back here from New York after recovering from COVID."

    "She had been complaining about the roof repair noise at the building. My texts to her are marked delivered but she has not answered," the person said.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    DEVASTATING PICTURES

    The exposed building revealed residents' belongings hanging from the wreckage in horrific pictures.

    A bunk bed is seen in a partially collapsed building in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bello
  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    EMOTIONAL STATEMENT

    Florida's Chief Financial Officer & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis posted an emotional image on Twitter as the 12-hour search continues.

    He described the Florida firefighters as "heroes."

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    WHAT, WHERE, AND WHO IS AFFECTED?

    Reports indicate the area is a mix of new and old apartments, houses, condominiums and hotels.

    There are also restaurants and stores serving residents and tourists, while the main oceanside drag is lined with glass-sided, luxury condominium buildings.

    Residents include snowbirds, Russian immigrants and Orthodox Jewish families.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    THE MISSING

    The tower does not keep track of when owners are in residence, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said.

    Miami man Nicholas Fernandez has been trying to call two friends who live there with building with their young daughter after coming to the US to avoid the outbreak in their home country of Argentina.

    “The hope is that, perhaps, someone hears the call. I know there are dogs inside,” he said. “I know it may sound ridiculous what I’m saying but there’s always hope until we hear different.”

    A total of nine people missing in the collapse were from Argentina, per the Argentine Consulate in Miami, while three Uruguayans were also missing, and four people from Venezuela.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    FUNDRAISING EFFORTS

    The Shul of Bay Harbor launched fundraiser to help the victims & families affected by the Surfside collapse.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    WHY DID IT HAPPEN?

    Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said there were "structural" issues and said engineers are determining the risk after the collapse and what caused it.

    The Miami-Dade police will conduct the investigation after the search and rescue is complete.

    "There will probably be federal resources involved in the investigation also," Cava said.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    TOWER HORROR

    Hours after the collapse, searchers were trying to reach a trapped child whose parents were believed to be dead.

    Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, told the Miami Herald that rescuers also saved a mother and child, but the woman’s leg had to be amputated to remove her from the rubble.

    The Sun previously reported on a 10-year-old boy being rescued from the rubble but it was not clear whether he was the same person mentioned by Rollason.

    You can read about the rescue here.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    SOUNDS FROM THE RUBBLE

    Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said they heard sounds from under the rubble.

    He told reporters: "All operations are occurring underneath the rubble. 

    "They are occurring underneath the parking garage where we have teams of firefighters constantly as they continue making cuts, breaches and placing sonar devices, search cams to locate victims.

    "We did receive sounds. Not necessarily people talking, but sounds. What sounds like people banging, not people but sounds of a possibility of a banging. We haven't heard any voices coming from the pile."

  • Fionnuala O'Leary

    SPECULATION

    It isn't clear what caused the collapse, though some have speculated it was a "sinkhole."

    Video footage appears to show the center of the building fall first, with a section nearest the ocean teetering and coming down seconds later as a huge dust cloud swallowed the surrounding area.

    Work was being done on the building’s roof, but Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he did not see how that could have been the cause.

    Source: Read Full Article