- A 12-storey beachfront building “pancaked” when it collapsed
- The urgent search for survivors continues on Friday
- The building was undergoing an inspection but the cause is still unknown
Nearly 100 people are still missing on Friday morning. A day after a 12-storey apartment block collapsed on the beachfront north of Miami, killing at least one person.
A wing of the apartment building in Surfside, Florida fell with a roar around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. In a video captured from nearby, the center of the building appeared to fall first, with a section swaying near the ocean and descending seconds later as a huge dust cloud swallowed the neighborhood.
Fire rescuers and others worked through Thursday night in hopes of finding survivors.
Early Friday, President Joe Biden declared an emergency allowing funding and other disaster relief for Surfside, a small, tight-knit community of about 6,000 residents.
Residents screamed for help as they tried to flee the building, and firefighters pulled some out of the building using stairs. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett confirmed at least one death but warned the death toll could rise.
Here’s what we know now:
Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the collapse near 88th Street and Collins Avenue. Police closed off nearby roads, and dozens of fire and rescue vehicles, ambulances and police cars congregated in the area.
Researcher at Florida International University He said the building was built on reclaimed wetlands and was designed to be unstable a year ago. Surf Mayor Charles Burkett said roofing work is underway.
According to the Miami-Dade County Police Department, authorities will investigate the incident after search and rescue operations are completed, CNN reported.
Built in 1981, the The building was only 40 years old. Florida requires all buildings and properties to be re-inspected every 40 years, and Miami-Dade County officials were inspecting the building before it collapsed, according to the Miami Herald.
The newspaper reported that inspections are examining whether the structure is stable and safe, and the building’s association recently appointed an engineer to check electrical and structural changes.
Oren Sitterenbaum, a lawyer who owns two units in the building with his family, said engineers were coming in to inspect the building, and he wasn’t there when it collapsed. According to Cytrynbaum, there had been some repairs done to the roof before the fall but he wasn’t aware of anything else.
Crews wearing hardwoods and escorted by search and rescue dogs, search through piles of concrete and cables for any signs of life. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told CNN that thunderstorms, extensive damage and changing conditions have hampered efforts to locate victims, but first responders have “not given up” on the search.
They searched for gaps in the debris and used a garage under the building as a tunnel system to maneuver around the building. Ray Gadallah, the Miami-Dade Fire & Rescue assistant chief of fire, said earlier Thursday that fire crews are using sonar equipment to monitor any movements in wreckage and ensure crews’ safety.
The devices detected what Jadallah said appeared to be a “percussion”.
“We received sounds, not necessarily people talking, but voices,” he said, describing it as possible to ring under the layers of debris.
“The building is literally soggy”:Heartbreaking photos capture Surfside building collapse and rescue efforts
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett has confirmed at least one death. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava said officials have identified 102 people so far, but 99 are still missing.
Relatives of the first lady of Paraguay She was among the 99 people missing, Leticia Robertti, a spokeswoman for Paraguay’s Consul General in Miami, told USA TODAY.
They included the first lady’s sister, Sofia Lopez Moreira Po, and sister’s husband Luis Bittengel, their three children and their nanny, Luna Villalba. Other Paraguayans were among those whose fate is unknown.
Maor Elbaz Starinsky, Israel’s consul general in Miami, told USA TODAY that about 20 Jews were also among those unaccounted for, including some with Israeli citizenship.
The firefighters pulled out of the building using ladders. Other researchers were trying to reach a trapped child who believed his parents had died. In one case, rescuers rescued a mother and her child, but the woman’s leg had to be amputated to get her out of the rubble.
Contributing: John Bacon, Romina Ruiz Guerina, and Crystal Hayes, USA Today; Associated Press.