US: Three dead, 99 missing in Florida building collapse

Washington, June 25, 2021

At least three people were dead, 12 others injured and 99 people possibly missing after a 12-storeyed residential building partially collapsed early Thursday in Miami-Dade County in the southeastern US state of Florida, local media reported.

Two of the 12 people injured in the incident were said to be in critical condition.

It was unclear exactly how many residents were in the building when the incident happened. Surfside officials said they could not confirm any number of missing people, but the situation looked dire.

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue received a call at around 1:30 a.m. local time about the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in the beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach.

So far at least 35 people trapped in the building and two others from beneath the rubble have been rescued, said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Raide Jadallah.

Video footage from the scene showed a large section of the building, collapsed into a pile of rubble, and a young boy was pulled alive from the rubble.

"It's the unimaginable," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. "It's a terrible, terrible nightmare that we have here on Surfside."

The oceanfront condominium, built in 1981, has 136 units, and approximately 55 of them collapsed on the northeast corridor, according to Jadallah.

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