Story at a glance:
- Nearly 100 people are still missing.
- More than 70 units have either been destroyed or severely damaged.
- Search-and-rescue missions could take at least a week, one official says.
The Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Fla., crumbled around 1:30 a.m Thursday, and updates on the survivors and casualties are slowly coming through, as crews work to account for all residents in the 12-story, 136-unit building. As of now, 99 people are still missing, four people have died and at least 11 are injured.
Earlier Thursday, 35 people were pulled from the building and two were recovered from the rubble. Crews were able to rescue a 10-year-old boy in the early morning and a young person from the building’s crumbled balcony. More than 50 of the units in the building have been destroyed or severely damaged.
Miami-Dade Assistant fire chief Ray Jadallah said two people were hospitalized, including the person who died, The Washington Post reports.
Director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management Frank Rollason told the Miami Herald that officials believe every survivor is now out of the condo.
“Everyone who is alive is out of the building,” he told the Miami Herald.
On Friday, it was confirmed by Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez the medical examiner’s office thave identify 11 injured victims with four people taken to local hospitals, The New York Post reported.
In addition, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed during a news conference that four have died.
“In addition, we can tragically report the death count is now four,” she said. “I want to be very clear about the numbers. They are very fluid. … The search-and-rescue team worked throughout the night, and it was a very active scene.”
Officials believe some people who are not accounted for could have escaped the destruction on their own.
“We have people who ran down stairwells who exited themselves and others who don’t have records of transport,” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman told The Washington Post. “They are unaccounted for because they have not been heard from or have not called family or friends to say they are okay.”
City manager Andrew Hyatt says it’s still unknown if anyone else has died, and search-and-rescue missions could take at least a week, according to The Post.
Ofi Osin-Cohen, a resident of the building, said she was rescued from her fourth-story balcony where she heard screams and saw smoke and debris.
She told Today that the shaking of the building woke her up.
“It is just overwhelming to see when we opened the door and saw that the building had collapsed,” she said.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett, who confirmed the number of missing people and the death of one person, said the collapse looks “like a bomb went off.”
Editor's Note: The number of missing people and killed have been updated at 7:15 a.m. on June 25, 2021.
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