Miami building collapse: One dead, 99 still missing in the rubble
Published: 01:59 PM, 25 June 2021 Updated: 02:00 PM, 25 June 2021
A large section of the 12-storey apartment block crumbled early on Thursday
At least one person has been dead and 99 people are missing so far in the rubble of a collapsed 12-storey residential building north of Miami. Rescuers are desperately searching for any survivors in the rubble.
The BBC reported that the search teams have been working around the clock and have reported “hearing people banging beneath the debris”.
Search teams detected sounds of banging and other noises, however, no voices coming from the tonnes of debris.
But officials say the efforts are dangerous as further rubble could collapse on top of them.
“This process is slow and methodical,” said Ray Jadallah, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assistant fire chief. “Any time we started breaching parts of the structure, we get rubble falling on us.”
At least 102 people have now been accounted for, but it is uncertain how many were in the building when it came down. Dozens of survivors have been pulled out of the rubble.
“One side of the building just fell completely. It doesn't exist anymore,” said Nicolas Fernandez, 29, an Argentinian resident of Miami who had yet to hear from friends who were staying overnight in his family’s unit in the building. “I don’t know about them. I don’t know if they are alive,” he told AFP.
Authorities said they were still without news of 99 people who may have been inside the building when part of it came crashing down, reports AFP.
Meanwhile, United States President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration for Florida, meaning the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help state agencies with the relief effort.
Around 55 apartments were affected by the collapse, according to Ray Jadallah who told a press conference that emergency services arrived at the scene at around 1:30 am, evacuating 35 people from the building.
The building was occupied by a mix of full-time and seasonal residents and renters, and officials have stressed it is unclear how many people were actually inside at the time.
Source: BBC, AFP