​HORRIFIC SCENE: Residential Condo Building Collapses in Miami, Florida Leaves at Least 3 Dead, 99+ Missing

At least three people are dead and as many as 99 are missing after a 12-story residential building partially collapsed around 1:30 a.m. this morning in Miami-Dade County, Florida.  The oceanfront condo tower at 8777 Collins Avenue came down with a bang that just kept falling, trapping an unknow number of residents still asleep in their beds. 

Search and Rescue teams picked their way through a pile of rubble nearly two stories high Thursday afternoon in the small beachside area of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach, hoping to hear the cries for help of survivors. This pile of rubble was the remains of a partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condo.

The massive search and rescue operation was launched before dawn and crews are still carefully combing through the wreckage and remaining structure at the time of this report, in hopes of finding survivors.  So far, crews have rescued 35 people who were trapped in the building and two others from beneath the rubble, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Raide Jadallah.  Officials said 102 people have been accounted for.

Teams of firefighters have been cutting through the rubble and placing sonar devices as part of the search efforts.  Responders have not heard any voices coming from the pile, though have picked up “a possibility of a banging” according to Jadallah.  “This process is slow and methodical, and every time there’s a shift in the rubble, we have additional rubble that shifts on us,” Jadallath told reporters during a late afternoon press briefing.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, It’s unimaginable.  I’s a terrible, terrible nightmare that we have here on Surfside.”
Security camera footage of the sudden collapse looked eerily similar to a demolition, minus the flash of explosives. The cause of the collapse of the 40-year-old build is unknown and will be determined after investigation.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis toured the site, telling reporters in a Thursday afternoon news conference, ‘It’s a tragic day, and it traumatic to see.  We still have hope to be able to identify additional survivors.”

Governor DeSantis declared a state of emergency in the county Thursday evening “to provide assistance for the families impacted by the Surfside tragedy,” according to the order.

This is an ongoing event and will be updated as new information is obtained.

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