Dozens of people were unaccounted for after portions of a condo building north of Miami Beach collapsed early Thursday, killing at least one person. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman told CBS News 51 of the building’s residents are unaccounted for.
Surfside, Florida, Mayor Charles Burkett said two people were taken to a hospital and one of them died. Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Ray Jadallah said 10 people were treated at the scene of the huge pile of rubble.
Dozens of fire-rescue units responded to the collapse. CBS Miami says rescuers are desperately trying to reach trapped residents. Some may be stuck in the rubble, the station says, adding that firefighters used truck-mounted ladders to reach people stuck on balconies. They also did a floor by floor search.
It was a high-rise condominium building called Champlain Towers South, CBS Miami reports.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue tweeted that it had more than 80 units there along with units from municipal fire departments. Miami Beach Police tweeted that “multiple police and fire agencies from across Miami-Dade” were assisting.
Florida Power & Light says it cut electricity to about 400 customers in the vicinity.
A family reunification center was set up nearby for anyone looking for unaccounted for relatives.
A man who was evacuated from a nearby hotel said, “The building – one of these huge buildings – gone! … The building – it’s gone. … The whole building’s gone. … Oh my gosh. This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”