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Miami condo collapse death toll rises to at least nine after police find four more bodies on Sunday - as officials identity first victims

159 people are missing in Miami Beach condo collapse: Death toll rises to four as it's revealed experts knew the 12-story building was sinking last YEAR

The 12 storey building was believed to be packed with residents when it collapsed a day ago. So far, four persons have been confirmed dead, however the number are expected to rise significantly in coming days for over 150 persons are still missing.

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Miami Beach condo collapse leaves one dead and FIFTY ONE people still missing after rescuers pull 35 survivors from the rubble: Dramatic footage emerges of the moment 12-story building crumbled

Twelve-story Miami Beach apartment building collapses leaving at least one dead

  • A huge emergency search and rescue operation is underway after the beachfront condo tower, Champlain Towers South, collapsed at about 1.30am this morning in the Miami neighborhood of Surfside
  •  One woman has been confirmed dead and at least 10 people were injured
  • Officials say they have yet to account for 51 people who are believed to have lived in the building. It was unclear whether any, or all of them, were inside at the time of the collapse 
  • First responders rescued 35 people from the damaged building and 14 people, including a young boy, were pulled from the rubble in the early stages of the search operation 
  • Rescue teams are currently using machinery and dogs to help trawl the wreckage for any survivors. Authorities fear many more people may be dead or remain trapped 
  • Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett was not confident there would be many survivors, saying: 'The building has literally pancaked' 
  • It is not clear how many people are missing but authorities said the building was 'substantially full' when it collapsed 
  • The building, which contains about 100 apartments, is located one block away from where Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump currently live
  • Authorities have not yet determined what caused the building to collapse but confirmed that renovations had been underway on the roof 

Thirty-five people were rescued from the damaged building and 14 people, including a young boy, were pulled from the rubble in the early stages of the search operation. Two of those people, including the woman who has since died, were taken to hospital. 

Rescue teams are currently using machinery, dogs and sound technology to help trawl the wreckage for any more survivors. Authorities fear many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble and warned the recovery efforts could last an entire week.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said rescue teams had made contact with some survivors by mid-morning but did not elaborate on where they were located or if they had been rescued. 

'Right now, we have the fire rescue. They are in search and rescue mode. They are trying to identify survivors, I know they have made contact with some, and I know they are doing everything they can to save lives,' he said. 

Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman said officials have yet to account for 51 people who are believed to have lived in the building. It was unclear whether any, or all of them, were inside at the time of the collapse.  

DeSantis and other authorities said earlier that they were bracing for bad news in terms of survivors given the level of destruction.  

'The building has literally pancaked,' Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. 

'That is heartbreaking because it doesn't mean to me that we are going to be as successful as we wanted to be in finding people alive.'      

Horrifying moment 12-story Miami Beach apartment building collapses
The surveillance video, obtained by WSVN , shows portions of the 12-story Miami Beach apartment building crumbling and sending a huge cloud of debris into the air when it collapsed in the middle of the night
A huge emergency search and rescue operation is underway after the beachfront condo tower, Champlain Towers South, collapsed at about 1.30am this morning in the Miami neighborhood of Surfside. One woman has been confirmed dead and at least eight people were injured
Hundreds of firefighters were seen walking through the wreckage, picking up other survivors and carrying them away. Authorities fear many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble
Rescue teams rescued 35 people from the damaged building and two people, including the young boy, were pulled from the rubble in the early stages of the search operation
Rescue teams are trawling the wreckage for any survivors and have already miraculously pulled a young boy, who was conscious, from rubble

Boy pulled from the rubble of Miami Beach apartment after collapsing

Authorities say the building was 'substantially full' when it collapsed. Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 were destroyed.   

The tower, which is located one block away from where Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump currently live, has a mix of seasonal and year-round residents. Mayor Burkett said the building keeps a log of guests staying but does not keep track of when owners are in residence. 

Crowds of people were gathering at a family reunification center set up nearby as they awaited news on their family and friends. 

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the building to collapse but confirmed that renovations had been underway on the roof in recent weeks.

Burkett said it was unlikely that the roof work had anything to do with the collapse, instead describing it as a 'catastrophic failure' of the building. 

'It's hard to imagine how this could have happened,' Burkett said. 'Buildings just don't fall down. 

'There's no reason for this building to go down like that unless someone literally pulls the supports out from underneath.' 

Burkett suggested that potential causes could be the result of the foundations being washed out or a sinkhole. 

The Miami-Dade Police have assumed control of the investigation as to why the building collapsed.  

The collapse, which appeared to affect one leg of the L-shaped tower, tore away walls and left a number of homes in the still-standing part of the building exposed in what looked like a giant dollhouse. 

Bunk beds, tables and chairs could be seen still left inside the damaged apartments. Air conditioner units were hanging from some parts of the building where wires now dangled. 

Photos and video from the scene show the collapse affected half the tower. Piles of rubble and debris surrounded the area just outside the building. 

The debris from the collapse coated cars up to two blocks away with a light layer of dust.     

Twelve-storey flat collapse sparks fear of people trapped in rubbleFire rescue personnel conduct a search and rescue with dogs through the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo on Thursday

Fire rescue personnel conduct a search and rescue with dogs through the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo on Thursday

Search and rescue personnel with a K9 unit work in the rubble in search of survivors

Search and rescue personnel with a K9 unit work in the rubble in search of survivors

Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 were destroyed. The building is located one block away from where Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump currently live

Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 were destroyed. The building is located one block away from where Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump currently live

Bunk beds, tables and chairs could be seen still left inside the damaged apartments. Air conditioner units were hanging from some parts of the building where wires now dangled

Bunk beds, tables and chairs could be seen still left inside the damaged apartments. Air conditioner units were hanging from some parts of the building where wires now dangled

The collapse left a number of units in the still-standing part of the building exposed with furniture visible inside some apartments

The collapse left a number of units in the still-standing part of the building exposed with furniture visible inside some apartments

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the building to collapse but confirmed that renovations had been underway on the roof

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the building to collapse but confirmed that renovations had been underway on the roof

Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 were destroyed. Authorities have not yet determined what caused the building to collapse but confirmed that renovations had been underway on the roof

Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 were destroyed. Authorities have not yet determined what caused the building to collapse but confirmed that renovations had been underway on the roof

Rescue teams are currently using machinery and dogs to help trawl the wreckage for any survivors. Authorities fear many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble

Rescue teams are currently using machinery and dogs to help trawl the wreckage for any survivors. Authorities fear many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble

Miami Beach building collapse sparking huge rescue operation

Barry Cohen, 63, said he and his wife were asleep in the building when he first heard what he thought was a crack of lightning. 

The couple went onto their balcony, then opened the door to the building's hallway to find 'a pile of rubble and dust and smoke billowing around'.

'I couldn´t walk out past my doorway,' said Cohen, the former vice mayor of Surfside. 'A gaping hole of rubble.'

He and his wife eventually made it to the basement and found rising water there. They returned upstairs, screamed for help and were eventually brought to safety by firefighters using a cherry-picker.

Cohen said he raised concerns years ago about whether nearby construction might be causing damage to the building after seeing cracked pavers on the pool deck.  

Jennifer Carr was asleep in a neighboring building when she was awakened by a loud boom and her room shook. She thought it was a thunderstorm but checked the weather app on her phone and saw none. The building´s fire alarms went off, and she and her family went outside and saw the collapse.

'It was devastation,' Carr said. 'People were running and screaming.'

Nicolas Fernandez was waiting early Thursday for word on close family friends who lived in the collapsed section of the building.

'Since it happened, I´ve been calling them nonstop, just trying to ring their cellphones as much as we can to hep the rescue to see if they can hear the cellphones.' 

Santo Mejil, 50, told the Miami Herald his wife called him from the building, where she was working as an aide for an elderly woman.

'She said she heard a big explosion. It felt like an earthquake,' Mejil told the newspaper. He said she later called him and said rescuers were bringing her down.  

Crowds of people were gathering at a family reunification center set up nearby as they awaited news on their family and friends

Crowds of people were gathering at a family reunification center set up nearby as they awaited news on their family and friends

Authorities say the building was 'substantially full' when it collapsed. Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 were destroyed. Families are pictured at a family reunification center on Thursday morning

Authorities say the building was 'substantially full' when it collapsed. Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 were destroyed. Families are pictured at a family reunification center on Thursday morning

Pictures and videos from the scene suggest a full section of the tower collapsed (pictured), which left huge piles of debris lying at the corner of Collins Avenue

Pictures and videos from the scene suggest a full section of the tower collapsed (pictured), which left huge piles of debris lying at the corner of Collins Avenue

One woman has died and at least nine people are injured, including a firefighter, following the collapse just before 1.30am, according to local media reports. One person is said to be in critical condition. Pictured: The partially collapsed building

One woman has died and at least nine people are injured, including a firefighter, following the collapse just before 1.30am, according to local media reports. One person is said to be in critical condition. Pictured: The partially collapsed building

There have been dozens of people impacted by the collapse (pictured: the partially collapsed building), according to local media, but authorities have not yet confirmed any details of potential casualties

There have been dozens of people impacted by the collapse (pictured: the partially collapsed building), according to local media, but authorities have not yet confirmed any details of potential casualties

Witness Kimberly Morales, who lives across the street, told CNN she was woken up by alarms going off and people pounding on her door, as she didn't hear the building collapse. Pictured: A portion of the condo tower crumbled to the ground

Witness Kimberly Morales, who lives across the street, told CNN she was woken up by alarms going off and people pounding on her door, as she didn't hear the building collapse. Pictured: A portion of the condo tower crumbled to the ground

A portion of the 12-story condo tower crumbled to the ground during a partial collapse of the apartment block. It is unknown at this time how many people were injured as search-and-rescue effort continues

A portion of the 12-story condo tower crumbled to the ground during a partial collapse of the apartment block. It is unknown at this time how many people were injured as search-and-rescue effort continues

Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96th Street and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue as authorities continue with the rescue operation (pictured)
Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96th Street and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue as authorities continue with the rescue operation (pictured)

Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96th Street and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue as authorities continue with the rescue operation (right), Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (left) confirmed

Freelance journalist Joel Franco, who was on the scene, claimed that the fire department had managed to rescue some people from their balconies. Pictured: Emergency personnel working at the scene

Freelance journalist Joel Franco, who was on the scene, claimed that the fire department had managed to rescue some people from their balconies. Pictured: Emergency personnel working at the scene

One witness, who was staying in the south Florida island city with his family, was in a neighboring building at the time and said the collapse sounded and felt like a tornado or earthquake.

'It was the craziest thing I ever heard in my life,' he told Fox News.

Witnesses claimed to have heard people screaming beneath the rubble during frantic efforts to free them from the wreckage of the building. 

One witness told NBC: 'They are able to rescue some people but I heard some screams.'

When the building initially collapsed, more than 80 rescue units were on the scene, including designated teams skilled in retrieving bodies from wreckages.  

The sea-view condo development was built in 1981 in the southeast corner of Surfside, on the beach. It had a few two-bedroom units currently on the market, with asking prices of $600,000 to $700,000.

The area is a mix of new and old apartments, houses, condominiums and hotels, with restaurants and stores serving an international combination of residents and tourists. 

The community provides a stark contrast from bustle and glitz of South Beach with a slower paced neighborhood feel. 

Shocking pictures and videos (above) show what appears to be huge piles of debris lying at the corner of Collins Avenue as fears
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue confirmed that more than 80 units (pictured), including Technical Rescue Teams, were on the scene

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue confirmed that more than 80 units (right), including Technical Rescue Teams, were at the scene of the collapse (left)

The building, a twelve-story apartment block called Champlain Towers South (pictured), collapsed in the early hours of this morning.

A view inside one of the apartments at Champlain Towers South

A view inside one of the apartments at Champlain Towers South 

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Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on July 6, 2021 at 10:27pm

This goes to show that people should not look down on anyone, because some think because they live in a near million dollar or million dollar socalled penthouse, that they are better than others, but God sees us all the same, and what goes up can come down anytime, then one finds himself or herself in the same soup line as that homeless or less fortunate person they turned their nose up at, when they high step into their overprices highrise, which they call a condo or penthouse.  Stay humble, because God can make us humble in a minute.

Comment by Cherry Butter on July 6, 2021 at 4:40pm

So sad. Nice apt.

Comment by caribmama on June 30, 2021 at 7:14am

To think people put down almost a mill to live in that place and they not taking the money for the up keep of the property. Those poor people buried, waiting on slow azz Florida to get them out. It shouldn't take this long. They should have more people in there working faster. You saw how crazy it got when the pandemic hit for them to pay people their unemployment. Azz backwards Florida. Those poor people.

Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on June 26, 2021 at 11:03am

I am sorry to hear of loss of life and people getting displaced.  This shows that we should not worship material things or feel that we are better than others because of where we live, and the possessions that we have, because everything we own can crumple and become a pile of rubble in an instant.

Comment by vaughn mitchell on June 24, 2021 at 10:18pm
It had to be florida. That's one f***** state. They do stuff shitty in that state. The building was sinking 2 millimeters per year. Scary s***,I bet people will start moving out of those places.

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