A Section of 12-Storey Building in the Community of Surfside, Outside Miami Collapsed Photo: Getty Images

How 12-storey Beachfront condo building collapsed in Florida: Report

*Can it happen again? Are any other of our buildings in town in jeopardy? Ask Miami-Area stakeholders

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Reports indicate that several people were feared dead after the beachfront condo collapsed Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Miami-Area, Florida, United States (US).

It was gathered that a beachfront condo building partially had collapsed Thursday outside Miami, killing at least one person and trapping others in the tower that resembled a giant fractured dollhouse, with one side sheared away.

Dozens of survivors were pulled out, and rescuers kept up a desperate search for more, agency report said.

US President Joe Biden

A wing of the 12-storey building in the community of Surfside came down with a roar around 1:30a.m.

By late evening same day, almost 100 people were still unaccounted for, authorities said, raising fears that the death toll could climb sharply.

About half of the building’s roughly 130 units were affected, the mayor told a news conference.

Rescuers pulled at least 35 people from the rubble by mid-morning, and heavy equipment was being brought in to help stabilise the structure to provide more access, Raide Jadallah of Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue said.

Officials did not know how many were in the tower when it fell, according to report.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said.

“The building is literally pancaked.

“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.”

Hours after the collapse, searchers were trying to reach a trapped child whose parents were believed to be dead.

In another case, rescuers saved a mother and child, but the woman’s leg had to be amputated to remove her from the rubble, Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade emergency management, Miami Herald report stated.

Video showed fire crews removing a boy from the wreckage, but it was not clear whether he was the same person mentioned by Rollason.

Teams were trying to enter the building from a parking garage beneath the structure.

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida State, who toured the scene, reportedly said television did not capture the scale of what happened.

Rescue crews are “doing everything they can to save lives. That is ongoing, and they’re not going to rest,” he said.

Teams of 10 to 12 rescuers at a time entered the rubble with dogs and other equipment, working until they grew tired from the heavy lifting, then making way for a new team, said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, the state’s fire marshal.

“They’re not going to stop just because of nightfall,” “They just may have a different path they pursue,” Patronis told Miami television station WPLG.

Meanwhile, it was learnt the authorities did not say what may have caused the collapse. On video footage captured from nearby, the centre of the building appeared to fall first, with a section nearest the ocean teetering and coming down seconds later as a huge dust cloud swallowed the neighborhood.

Report noted that work was being done on the building’s roof at the time it collapsed, but Burkett said he did not see how that could have been the cause.

Surfside City Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer told WPLG that the building’s county-mandated 40-year re-certification process was ongoing.

Salzhauer said the process was believed to be proceeding without difficulty. A building inspector was on site Wednesday, he stated.

The Surfside City Commissioner noted: “I want to know why this happened.

“That’s really the only question…. And can it happen again? Are any other of our buildings in town in jeopardy?”

The seaside condo development was built in 1981. It had a few two-bedroom units on the market, with asking prices of $600,000 to $700,000.

The area’s neighborhood feel offers a stark contrast to the glitz and bustle of nearby South Beach.

US President Joe Biden has promised to provide federal aid, if requested.

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