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Pics: 12-story condo building collapses near Miami; at least 1 dead

Surfside, Florida, apartment collapse (Miami-Dade Fire Rescue/Released)
June 24, 2021

A 12-story apartment in Surfside, Fla., a town near Miami, partially collapsed early Thursday, leaving one person dead and trapping several others in the rubble, according to authorities.

Multiple police and fire agencies from across Miami-Dade arrived on scene, and Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said the death toll would likely increase, noting that the building manager had told him the complex was full.  

“The building is literally pancaked,” Burkett said during a news conference. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we are going to be as successful as we wanted to be in finding people alive.”

“It just doesn’t happen. You don’t see buildings falling down in America and here we had a building literally fall down,” he said. “It just doesn’t happen.”

Officials said two of the 10 people treated at the site were transported to a nearby hospital where one subsequently passed away. The remaining residents impacted will be taken to a hotel, the mayor said.

Emergency personnel have pulled almost 40 people from the collapsed building as the search continues, Raide Jadallah, assistant fire chief of operations for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.

Video shared on Twitter showed rescuers pulling a boy from the rubble.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said southbound traffic near 88 Street and Collins is being diverted onto 96 Street, and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85 and Collins Avenue.

A family reunification center has also been established for anyone searching for missing relatives at 9302 Collins Avenue.

“If you have family members that are unaccounted for or are safe, please call 305-614-1819 to account for them,” the city’s fire rescue tweeted.

Burkett said work was being done on the building, but it is unclear if that caused the destruction.

The Associated Press reported that one witness to the incident described what he thought sounded like a bolt of lightning before finding “a pile of rubble and dust and smoke billowing around.”

“I couldn’t walk out past my doorway,” said Barry Cohen, 63, Surfside’s former vice mayor. “A gaping hole of rubble.”

Another resident shared on Twitter footage from inside the condo during the collapse.

“I am a resident of one of the condos on the side of the collapse. This is a video from my camera footage inside from the start of the collapse until the lose of connection (I was away from the building today),” she wrote. “Towards the end, you hear the structure failing.”

According to the AP, the development was first built in 1981. Several two-bedroom condos are currently on the market, listed between $600,000 and $700,000.