A Surfside, Fla. condominium tower partially collapsed early Thursday morning, killing at least one person and leaving 51 people unaccounted for.
Approximately 55 units of the 12-story, 136-unit Champlain Towers South building were affected.
Firefighters and first responders arrived at the building shortly after 1:30 a.m. and immediately began search and rescue efforts. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said 35 occupants were rescued from the building. Ten were treated for injuries and two were transported to local area hospitals.
Officials expect the fatality count to rise.
“The building has literally pancaked,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we’re going to be…as successful as we would want to be to find people alive.”
The condominium tower, built in 1981, was undergoing a 40-year recertification. The building is located near 88th Street and Collins Avenue in Surfside, a town of 5,700 people located seven miles north of Miami Beach.
Former Miami-Dade Fire Chief David Downey told CNN that the tower predates the state’s most recent building codes, which were last updated in 2010.
Officials are concerned of a potential secondary collapse. Search and rescue efforts could take “at least a week,” according to Surfside Town Manager Andrew Hyatt.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.