A wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed with a roar in a town outside Miami early Thursday, killing at least one person and trapping residents in rubble and twisted metal. Rescuers pulled out dozens of survivors and continued to look for more.
Nearly 100 people were still unaccounted for at midday, authorities said, raising fears that the death toll could climb sharply. But officials did not know how many were in the tower when it fell around 1:30 a.m.
“The building is literally pancaked,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. “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.”
Chesed Shel Emes tells YWN that as many as 25 of the missing – and possibly more – may be Frum people.
Hatzalah of South Florida was dispatched to the scene, and has been working closely with Miami Dade Fire Rescue Command.
Chesed Shel Emes along with Police Chaplain Rabbi Mark Rosenberg are on the scene working with authorities trying to track down missing victims.
PLEASE SAY TEHILLIM FOR:
- Chaim ben Sara
- Malka bas Sara Rochel
- Yisroel Tzvi Yosef ben Toiba
- Tzvi Doniel ben Yehudis
- Ita bas Miriam
- Esther bas Linda
- Moshe ben Toba
- Moshe ben Shoshana
- Arie Leib ben Ita
- Lein ben ilana
- Leible ben Feiga Rivka
- Ruth bas Sarah
- Chaim ben Sara
- Chaya Gila bas Yehudis
An urgent message from The Shul and Hatzalah South Florida:
A section of Champlain Towers South collapsed on Thursday morning, 8777 Collins Avenue, Surfside.
A hotline has been set up for family members looking for information
Please say Tehillim Chapter 20 and 119 for those unaccounted for.
We are here for you.
Hatzalah South Florida has established a command center on the scene and is working closely with MDFR and other law enforcement agencies. As further information becomes available, we will update the public.
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Gov. Ron DeSantis, who toured the scene, 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 were entering the rubble at a time with dogs and other equipment, working until they tire 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,” Patronis told Miami television station WPLG. “They just may have a different path they pursue.”
Patronis said he was deeply moved by the image of a bunk bed near the now-exposed top of the building.
“Somebody was probably sleeping in it,” he said. “There’s all those what-ifs.”
Authorities did not say what may have caused the collapse. On video footage captured from nearby, the center 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.
Work was being done on the building’s roof, but Burkett said he did not see how that could have been the cause.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)