SURFSIDE, Fla. – Nearby surveillance video captures the eerie moments as part of a 12-floor beachfront condominium complex collapsed early Thursday morning in Surfside.
The video, obtained by WPLG-TV in Miami, shows the swiftness with which the building “pancaked” during the collapse leaving a pile of rubble in its wake. (NOTE: WPLG’s anchor described the video as disturbing and chilling. Use your discretion before watching it.)
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett warned that the death toll was likely to rise, saying the building manager told him the tower was quite full at the time of the collapse around 1:30 a.m., but the exact number of people present was unclear.
Rescuers pulled dozens of survivors from the tower during the morning and continued to look for more.
During a morning news conference, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed that the 12-story building that was built in 1981 houses more than 130 units. She said about half of the units collapsed and more than 50 people are unaccounted for.
The building’s pool and parking garage were on the side of the building that collapsed.
“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,” Burkett said.
A Miami-Dade firefighter told WPLG that a part of the building collapsed in a similar way to a bridge collapse, where it’s flat.
He said there are therefore no pockets that crews have been able to find for people to possibly be trapped in.
A family reunification center has been set up for anyone looking for unaccounted or missing relatives at a community center at 9301 Collins Ave.
Those searching for their loved ones or to report that they have been located are asked to call 305-614-1819. An emergency information hotline has also been created: 305-993-1071.