The death toll from the partial collapse of a beachfront condominium in Miami has risen to at least four, and around 100 people remain missing as rescue teams comb through tons of rubble on Friday (25) for survivors.
US President Joe Biden approved a declaration of emergency in the state of Florida and ordered federal assistance to complement state and local response efforts. Also on Thursday (24), Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and State Governor Ron DeSantis signed bailout statements triggering Biden’s response.
Search teams have detected clicking and other noises, but no voices in the rubble piles hours after much of the Champlain Towers South condominium collapsed in the town of Surfside, north of Miami Beach. .
Images captured by a nearby security camera showed an entire side of the building collapsing into two sections, one after the other, raising clouds of dust around 1:30 a.m. (2:30 GMT) on Thursday.
What caused the 40-year-old building to collapse within seconds remains a mystery, although local officials said the 12-story tower was under construction in some areas.
According to the mayor, 99 people are still missing since the building collapsed, although some of them may not have been in the building at the time of the collapse. Another 102 people whose fate was initially unknown have been found and declared safe, Levine Cava said.
It is still unclear how many people were living in the building or how many were there at the time of the crash. Some residents managed to exit the stairs on their own, while others had to be rescued from the porch. According to local media, the building was constructed in 1981 and had 130 units, of which around 80 were occupied.
The site had been inspected recently due to a recertification process and the construction of another building nearby.