Tragedy in Surfside
July 24 2021 2:00am building collapse
Condo building partially collapses in Miami-Dade, killing at least one and prompting mass search-and-rescue operation
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told reporters Thursday that in addition to at least one death and multiple injuries, dozens of residents have been displaced. He added that 50 hotel rooms located next door to the residential building were also evacuated. Burkett said people from at least 15 units need temporary housing.
The mayor told NBC’s “Today” show that it “looks like a bomb went off,” calling the partial collapse “a catastrophic failure of that building.”
“It’s hard to imagine how this could happen,” Burkett said. “Buildings just don’t fall down.”
Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, said Thursday morning that first responders believe they have cleared all survivors from inside the condo, adding that more than 70 of the units had been either destroyed or badly damaged.
“Everyone who is alive is out of the building,” he told the Miami Herald.
Rescuers pulled one boy from the rubble, video shot by WTVJ shows, while firefighters used ladders to rescue other tenants from balconies in the still-standing portion of the tower. Nicholas Balboa, who lives next door to the condo, said he could see the boy’s hand waving through the rubble as he helped rescue him.
Champlain Towers South Condo, 8855 Collins Ave., Surfside, Miami-Dade, Florida 33154.