The small Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida was rocked by tragedy early Thursday morning when a 12-story condo building partially collapsed. Seventy of the 130 units within the Champlain Towers South condominium were damaged or destroyed within the collapse. “Probably a 3rd or more of the building is completely pancaked,” said Mayor Charles Burkett. “It seems like a bomb went off.” Several survivors are pulled from the rubble, including a young boy, consistent with local reports. Footage from a close-by surveillance camera shows the horrifying moment that the bulk of the building was reduced to rubble.
Without warning, a middle section of the building crumbles, sending a plume of dust billowing into the air. Moments later, a second portion of the structure collapses on itself. Officials report that one person has been confirmed to possess died, but that number is probably going to rise. One witness, Nicolas Fernandez, described desperately trying to locate family friends who lived within the building. “Since it happened, I’ve been calling them nonstop, just trying to ring their cellphones the maximum amount as we will to assist the rescue to ascertain if they will hear the cellphones.” Officials told news outlets that 51 people are currently unaccounted for as rescue efforts continue. By the top of the day, the amount had risen to 99 missings.