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Official says 51 unaccounted for following Miami-area building collapse, 1 confirmed dead

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Building Collapse Miami
Building Collapse Miami
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Building Collapse Miami
Posted at 5:09 AM, Jun 24, 2021

SURFSIDE, Fl. (AP) — One person has died following a partial building collapse in Miami, according to officials with the Miami-Dade Police.

The building, located near on 88th Street and Collins Ave. in Surfside, an area just north of the city of Miami, collapsed early Thursday morning.

During a press conference on Thursday, officials said that 10 people were treated for injuries following the collapse. Two of those injured were transported to local hospitals; their condition is currently unknown.

Sally Heyman, a Commissioner of Miami-Dade County, told CNN that 51 people remain unaccounted for.

"It is 51 people who are supposedly residing there at the time have not either called out or had people call in to reach them," Heyman said.

Search and rescue efforts to pull others from the rubble are ongoing. Fire rescue officials say that 35 people that were trapped inside the building were pulled out "from the structure and part of the collapse," while two people were rescued from the rubbled remains of the structure.

Video from the scene shows that one of the two people removed from the rubble was a child.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett says that early rescue efforts were hampered because the collapse occurred at nighttime.

"It was just so dangerous and so dark," Burkett said. "I know they were coming back at daylight, so I know they're out there right now looking."

It's currently unclear what caused the building to collapse.

"I was born here and buildings just don't fall down, never. Never," Burkett told reporters at a press conference. "I mean it's the most shocking thing that I think we've seen ever. It looks like an earthquake."

According to Scripps station WPTV, the 12-story condominium was built in 1981 in the southeast corner of Surfside, on the beach. It had a few two-bedroom units currently on the market, with asking prices of $600,000 to $700,000, police said.

Officials said that about half of the building's 130 units collapsed.

Burkett said that the city and the Red Cross are looking into housing options for those displaced from the building. He added that those staying at a nearby 50-unit hotel had been evacuated out of an abundance of caution.

MDFR says it has set up a family reunification center near the scene and has 80 united responding to the scene. The Miami Beach Police and the city's fire department are also responding.