At least 159 people were unaccounted for and four people are reported dead after a residential building collapsed near Miami Beach, officials said during a press conference on Friday morning.
The 12-story residential building in Surfside collapsed around 2 a.m. Thursday morning near 88th Street and Collins Avenue just north of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said.
A search and rescue mission is underway to find any survivors that could be trapped in the rubble of the collapsed building.
Governor Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency in Miami-Dade County the same day of the collapse. He visited Surfside Thursday afternoon and thanked Miami-Dade Fire crews and first responders for risking their lives to save victims of the collapse.
Building collapse video:
JUST IN: Video I’ve obtained of the building collapse in Surfside, Florida. pic.twitter.com/BGbRC7iSI9— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) June 24, 2021
Miami-Dade’s Technical Rescue Team and local fire departments are assisting in the search for survivors. Rescue crews confirmed 37 people were rescued from the structure so far, according to NBC6.
Rescue crews are using Sonar to detect any sound amongst the rubble. Engineers are also out to secure the structure, so it doesn’t fall on firefighters.
A survivor from the 9th floor reported the collapse sounding like an earthquake.
A small fire sparked in the rubble of the building around 2 p.m. on Thursday. As crews worked to contain it, smoke could be seen rising from the scene. Officials said the fire was caused by shifting rubble while crews were working, and it was quickly extinguished.
“Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is on scene, they’re conducting rescues as we speak,” Surfside Police Sgt. Marian Cruz said.
The collapsed building was built in 1981 and had more than 136 apartment units, records showed. Officials said it’s still unclear why the building collapsed.
Residents were being moved to the Surfside Community Center and streets in the area were closed, according to officials.
“It’s a very active scene,” said Cruz. “I advise everyone to just stay out of the area so that fire rescue and officers can conduct rescues and do what we need to do.”
Supportsurfside.org is open for donations to help those impacted by this sudden tragedy.
PHOTOS: Residential Building In Miami Partially Collapsed