Death toll in Florida collapse rises to 9; 150 still missing |

Death toll in Florida collapse rises to 9; 150 still missing

from Associated Press reports
Updated: June 27, 2021 02:50 PM
Created: June 24, 2021 08:07 AM

Officials say there are still about 150 people unaccounted for after the partial collapse of a beachside building in a town outside Miami.

The collapse in the community of Surfside killed at least nine people and trapped others in rubble and twisted metal. Rescuers pulled dozens of survivors from the tower Thursday morning and continued to look for more.

Raide Jadallah is an assistant Miami-Dade County fire chief. He says rescue operations continued throughout the night Thursday into Friday, and 130 firefighters are working at the site. Crews are using dogs and microphones. 

Officials did not know how many people were in the tower when it fell around 1:30 a.m. The mayor says two people were brought to the hospital and one died.

It's not clear what caused the structure to fail.

The collapse sent a cloud of debris through the neighborhood, coating cars up to two blocks away with a light layer of dust.

"The building shook. And then I looked out the window and you couldn't see. I thought it was like a storm or something coming in. And then what happed was when the dust cleared, the back half of the building or the back two-thirds of the building was gone. It was down to the ground," a witness told ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said there are more than 130 units in the building and about half of those have collapsed.

"A massive search and rescue is underway, and we know that we're going to do everything we can possibly do to identify and rescue those who have been trapped in the rubble," Cava said.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett warned during a news conference that the building manager told him the tower was quite full and the death toll was likely to rise.

The sea-view condo development was built in 1981 in the southeast corner of Surfside, on the beach. It had a few two-bedroom units currently on the market, with asking prices of $600,000 to $700,000, an internet search shows.

The area is a mix of new and old apartments, houses, condominiums and hotels, with restaurants and stores serving an international combination of residents and tourists. The community provides a stark contrast from bustle and glitz of South Beach with a slower paced neighborhood feel.


from Associated Press reports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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