The images from. Continue to cause shock the partial collapse of a 12-storey building in Miami Beach, Florida, early Thursday morning (24/06). Hundreds of firefighters and rescuers are racing to find survivors in the rubble. while one person is already confirmed dead and another 51 are missing.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Hayman said Authorities have so far been unable to contact 51 people who “theoretically” lived in the building. The complex hosted families but also people who spent only the winter months in Florida.
“We have 51 people who we assume were there, but we do not know if they were missing on holiday or anything, so we are waiting,” Hayman told CNN by telephone. “Hopes are always there, but they fade away” he added.
A firefighter said 35 people were rescued from the building in Surfside, Florida, north of Miami Beach. Among them were two who were pulled from the wreckage after being spotted by specially trained dogs.
The governor of the state, Ron DeSadis, said that other victims are likely to be found in the rubble and that he intends to visit the site. “We are hoping for the best, but we are preparing for bad news, given the devastation we are seeing,” he said at an event at a community college near Tampa.
Miami Beach: It is unknown how many people were inside the building
The Champlain Towers South apartment complex was built in 1981 and had more than 130 apartments. About 80 of them lived. It is not clear how many people were inside, when at 2 in the morning, local time (09:00 Greek time), an entire side of the band collapsed.
Surfside Mayor Charles Berket said some work was being done on the roof of the building, but it has not been clarified whether heavy machinery was used.
In footage broadcast by the local channel WPLG Local 10, rescuers pull a boy out of the wreckage while firefighters use ladders to bring down residents trapped on their balconies. Miami-Dade Deputy Fire Chief Reid Jandala said crews were trying to support what was left of the building. “We are continuing the search and rescue operation”, he stressed, according to what APE-MPE conveys.
The mayor described that part of the building with balconies overlooking the sea “leveled” and one floor fell on top of the other.
Resident Barry Cohen and his wife were rescued from the building. “At first it sounded like lightning, like thunder,” said Cohen, a former deputy mayor of Surfside. “But then it continued, steadily, for at least 15-30 seconds,” he added.
Cohen confirmed that work has been going on on the roof of the building for over a month.
At least 18 citizens of Latin American countries are among the missing
According to the consulates of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, at least 18 citizens from the three Latin American countries are missing after the collapse of a 12-storey residential complex in Florida.
Rescuers have not been able to locate 51 people who, in theory, lived in the building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.
The causes of the accident are still unclear.