Condo Collapse Aftermath: At Least 9 Dead As Search Continues For 156 Missing People In Miami

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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At least nine people are dead, multiple others injured and at least 156 people were declared missing after an oceanfront condo partially collapsed Thursday morning in Surfside, a town located in Miami.

The 12-story tower collapsed around 2:00 a.m., June 24, trapping residents underneath a heap of rubble and leading to a multi-county rescue effort, the Miami Herald reported.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told the Today Show Thursday at least two people were taken to a hospital where one later died. Ten people were treated on the scene. Ray Jadallah of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said at a press conference 35 people who were trapped in the building were pulled out of the building.

Jadallah said search and rescue efforts remain ongoing.

Earlier in the day Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman said at least 51 people are unaccounted for and are assumed to have been in the building, according to CNN. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed Friday morning the number of individuals unaccounted for had risen to 159 people. Cava noted the numbers were “fluid” and continue to change.

Four more bodies were discovered, bringing the number of deaths to nine, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

“Apparently when the building came down it pancaked, so there’s just not a lot of voids that they’re finding or seeing from the outside which again, that’s a tragedy,” Burkett said on the Today Show.

Director of the Miami-Dade Emergency Management Frank Rollason said emergency workers believe all of the survivors have been removed from inside the tower just shortly after 8:00 a.m., according to the Miami Herald. Rollason said out of the more than 130 apartment units, at least 70 have been destroyed or have sustained some damage.

“Everyone who is alive is out of the building,” he told the outlet Thursday.

A young child found early Thursday morning was safely pulled from the rubble, authorities said, according to the report.


Rollason said rescuers had to save a mother and her child but had to amputate the mother’s leg on the spot to free her, the Miami Herald reported.

“It’s bad,” Rollason reportedly said. (RELATED: Earthquake Rattles Greece, Shaking Also Felt In Neighboring Countries)

It’s unclear what triggered the building to collapse, but Burkett said recent construction on the building’s roof was going to be examined, although he doesn’t see how that would have contributed to the collapse.

“We don’t know if the rest of the building is going to come down.”

“This is a catastrophic failure of that building,” he said. The mayor will not say whether the collapse was an accident, the Miami Herald reported.

“What I can say is that a building has fallen down … I expect that this building is not salvageable at this point.”

Authorities set up a family reunification center for unaccounted or missing relatives.