What to Know About the Building Collapse in Surfside, Fla.

A large rescue effort was underway at the scene in the town of Surfside. At least one person was killed, the police said.,


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A search-and-rescue effort involving firefighters, police officers and search dogs was underway on Thursday after a high-rise residential building just north of Miami Beach partially collapsed. At least one person was killed, the police said.

Here’s what we know about the scene.

About a quarter of the building, which appeared to be about 12 stories tall, collapsed early Thursday morning. Charles Burkett, the mayor of Surfside, told the “Today” show on NBC that it was also unclear how stable the rest of the building was.

The beachside building, at 8777 Collins Avenue, is called Champlain Towers South and was built in 1981, according to city property records. It has 136 units, according to to the Miami-Dade property appraiser.

Fiorella Terenzi, an associate professor at Florida International University who lives in a neighboring building, Champlain Towers East, said she woke up early Thursday to a loud noise.

The sound “was like a big thump all of a sudden,” she said. At first she thought it was thunder but then started to hear sirens. When she left the building, dust was everywhere.

ImageA search-and-rescue effort was underway at the scene in Surfside.
A search-and-rescue effort was underway at the scene in Surfside.Credit…Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The police have confirmed one death.

“A number of people” were rushed to nearby hospitals from the rubble of the collapsed building, in the town of Surfside in Miami-Dade County, a police spokesman said. At least two people were in critical condition, according to a spokesman for Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.

Mr. Burkett said he had heard from the police that medical teams had treated 10 people at the site. He said dogs had been searching for people trapped under the rubble since 2 a.m.

“Just tragically there haven’t been any hits from the dogs, and that’s a great disappointment,” he said. “Apparently when the building came down, it pancaked. So there’s just not a lot of voids that they’re finding or seeing from the outside.”

He said 15 families were being relocated to hotels.

At a morning news conference, Chief Ray Jadallah of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said that it was not clear how many people were still missing.

It was unclear what caused the building to collapse.

Christine Hauser and Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.

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