- Crews continue to comb through the rubble of a partially collapsed condo building searching for survivors.
- Days after the collapse, more than 150 people are still missing. Twelve people are confirmed dead.
- President Joe Biden signed an emergency declaration for Florida, allowing FEMA to coordinate relief.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Search and rescue crews continued to search through the rubble of a partially collapsed Florida condo building on Sunday, with at least 11 people confirmed dead and dozens still missing.
A section of Champlain Towers South, located on Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida, crumbled just after 1 a.m. on Thursday.
Officials said Saturday they had identified four of the people found dead. The first victim, identified Friday by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s office, was Stacie Fang, 54. The other three victims identified are Antonio Lozano, 83; Gladys Lozano, 79; and Manuel LaFont, 54.
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County said another body was recovered Tuesday, bringing the death toll of the collapse to 12 people. At least 149 people remain unaccounted for as of Tuesday.
Cava said search-and-rescue teams were working round the clock, and that heavy machinery was on site to assist with the operations.
President Joe Biden signed an emergency declaration for Florida after the collapse, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief. Fifteen people from FEMA are set to arrive later on Friday, spokesman Kevin Guthrie of FEMA told the Friday press conference.
The way the building collapsed has made it difficult for rescue teams to locate survivors, Mayor Charles Burkett of Surfside said.
“The problem is the building has literally pancaked,” Burkett said. “It’s heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean, to me, that we’re going to be successful, as successful as we want to be, to find people alive.”
In an interview with the “Today” show, Burkett said the building damage was catastrophic.
—Andy Slater (@AndySlater) June 24, 2021
“It looks like a bomb went off, but we are pretty sure a bomb didn’t go off,” Burkett said.
To complicate rescue matters, a fire spread around the site of the collapse on Saturday, according to Cava. Firefighters have not been able to identify the source of the fire, Cava said during a press conference.
And the building’s structural integrity is in question after reports of “major structural damage” to the condo. Additionally, an engineering consultant found evidence of “abundant” cracking and fragmentation in the building’s columns and beams, according to an inspection report from 2018.
Videos and images posted on Twitter showed rubble from the caved-in building and fire department personnel responding.
—JC Groves (@JCGroves) June 24, 2021
Video from the scene showed rescues from the collapsed condo’s balconies, including NBC Miami footage showing a young person being pulled from the rubble.
A young person being pulled from the rubble of the Surfside partial collapse by firefighters.
Tweets from student reporter Eric Wasserman, who was at the scene, said residents were trapped in the portion of the building that had not collapsed, and that more than one person was injured, including a firefighter.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said that more than 80 rescue units were helping at the scene of the collapse.
—Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) June 24, 2021
A real-estate profile for Champlain Towers South said it was built in 1981. There are 136 units on the 12-story property, with two- and three-bedroom units that range from $590,000 to $915,000.
—Alex Hernandez (@CheechDad09) June 24, 2021
This is not the first time Collins Avenue in Miami Beach has seen a building collapse. In 2018, CNN reported that an empty 12-story building at 5775 Collins Ave. due for demolition collapsed at an unscheduled time, critically injuring one person.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.