U.S. officials were without news from 99 people Thursday after a dramatic collapse overnight from a residential building near Miami, raising fears that large numbers of people would be rescued as rescue workers dug through the rubble.
At least one person has died in this hitherto unexplained disaster.
Video. United States: Interesting pictures of a collapsed building in Florida, a large number of fears
“102 people have been found … they are safe,” Miami-Tate County Mayor Daniel Levine Kawa told a news conference. “We are still without reports of at least 99 people being called to the rescue by the American Institute for Emergency Management (FEMA),” he added.
About 20 Latin American nationals are missing. “We are giving bad news considering the magnitude of the devastation,” Florida Governor Ron Desantis warned. President Joe Biden told him that the federal government is ready to assist in emergency relief and resettlement activities.
“The traces of the people who lived their daily lives and everything evaporated in an instant, it was absolutely enormous,” Debbie Wassmann Schultz, the elected official, went back and told reporters. Returned to the scene.
One person has died, according to Charles Burkett, mayor of Surbside, on the southern campus of Champlain Towers, where the building is located in southeastern Florida.
Surveillance video shows that part of a multi-apartment building collapsed early Thursday morning in the South Florida community of Surface, killing at least one person and triggering intensive search and rescue efforts. https://t.co/8ni5rYJbvI pic.twitter.com/jISuMUBi50
– CNN (CNN) June 24, 2021
At 1:30 a.m. (05:30 GMT) twelve sites collapsed, and Witnesses released a large cloud of dust over several blocks. “I was in a deep sleep, I heard a loud crash, I thought it was an accident and lightning, but it continued, 15-20 minutes I will say,” testified 63-year-old Barry Cohen. The building collapsed.
Among the missing are nine nationals from Latin American countries, including nine Argentines, three Uruguayans and six Paraguayans. Paraguayan Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo has confirmed that Sylvana Lopez Morera, the sister of the first lady of Paraguay, and her family are concerned.
Nicola Fernandez, an Argentine living in Miami, told AFP that friends of her family were staying on the premises. “I didn’t ask them, I don’t know if they were alive …” the 29-year-old stumbled.
“It’s like a nightmare,” said Viviana Pena, the building’s resident’s daughter – in – law.