At least 99 individuals are still missing after a residential complex in Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed early Thursday. Teams of search and rescue personnel are scurrying to locate survivors. At least one person has been reported dead, and at least 11 others have been injured. Additionally, emergency officials are urging residents to phone 305-614-1819 if they have family who are missing. It is still not known what caused the building to collapse.
The following are the reported facts surrounding the structure thus far:
- It is located at 8777 Collins Avenue, just a few miles north of Miami Beach.
- According to Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett, it was constructed in the 1980s and was “not lightly occupied.”
- The 12-story structure contains 136 flats. According to Ray Jadallah of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, approximately 55 apartment units collapsed.
- Kenneth Direktor, an attorney for the building’s residents association, the structure underwent “thorough engineering examinations over the last several months” in preparation for compliance with a 40-year certification.
The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crew is frantically searching for the remaining 99 people. According to CNN’s Rosa Flores, the rescue crew members are highly trained and have previously responded to crises in places such as Haiti and Mexico.
A government official had described to CNN the nature of the task performed by these workers.
“This type of work is so dangerous and so painstaking, they literally move inch by inch. They move a piece of rubble. They’re working with structural engineers to shore up the building, to build tunnels to go into the building, to listen for signs of life,” Flores reported.
Crews perform an “all halt” at various intervals during their search and rescue effort to listen for any sign of life.
“But there are a lot of challenges, though. This is a residential building. So, as you might imagine, the pipes have burst. There are fumes. There’s gas. There are also vehicles. So, there is a lot that they are dealing with as they are trying to find signs of life,” she added.