Search and rescue teams are scouring through rubble after a 12-storey apartment building suddenly collapsed in on itself in Miami, Florida, The Miami Herald reports.
While one person has been confirmed dead, the full death toll remains unknown.
So far, 35 people have been rescued from the remains in the 12 hours since the building collapsed on Thursday, Australian time. However, it’s feared up to 99 people among the building’s permanent and seasonal residents are still missing.
“It’s the unimaginable,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
“It’s a terrible, terrible nightmare that we have here on Surfside.”
Boy rescued from the rubble of a building collapse in Surfside, Florida — near Miami Beach.
Hundreds of first responders are on the scene right now.
Rescue operation continues at 8777 Collins Ave. pic.twitter.com/Hnq7Gd9QW4
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) June 24, 2021
It appears as if one of the building’s supports gave way, which then saw a huge huge chunk of the complex come down. Some apartments were literally torn in half, with tables, chairs and beds exposed.
The cause of the collapse is still unknown, but footage of it looks similar to a controlled demolition.
According to CNN and AP, the building’s concrete roof was being upgraded but it’s unclear if this had anything to do with the incident. Buildings in Miami are required to have their structural integrity recertified every 40 years, and this particular building was built in 1981.
JUST IN: 7News has obtained surveillance video of the moment the Champlain Towers South Condo collapsed in Surfside early this morning.
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) June 24, 2021
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett the building “literally pancaked.”
“It looks like a bomb went off but we are pretty sure a bomb didn’t go off. You just don’t see buildings like this fall down in America,” he told TODAY.
“There is no reason for this building to go down like this unless someone literally pulls out the supports from underneath, or they get washed out, or there is a sinkhole, or something like that because it just went down.”
“It looks like a bomb went off.”
Charles Burkett, mayor of Surfside, Florida, joins us to talk about the partial collapse of a condo building near Miami Beach and the rescue efforts underway. “This is a catastrophic failure of that building,” Burkett says. pic.twitter.com/4xlVuj80bm
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 24, 2021
More to come.