SURFSIDE, Fla. – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews are at the scene of a partial building collapse Thursday morning at the Champlain Towers building near 88th Street and Collins Avenue in Surfside.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials confirmed at least one person has been killed and numerous others are trapped.
The collapse occurred around 1:20 a.m.
Santos Mejia told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright that his wife, Janet Rodriguez, 55, was staying at the condominium building with a 95-year-old woman she is caring for.
He said she immediately called him after the collapse and told him she heard an earthquake, but they soon learned the building had partially collapsed in the back on the oceanside.
He said his wife and the elderly woman are both OK, but they could have fallen off the side of the building had they been closer to the balcony.
Local 10 News was at the scene just before 5:30 a.m. as one person was being rescued from their balcony.
More than 80 MDFR units, including Technical Rescue Teams, are at the scene with assistance from municipal fire departments.
A photo taken from the scene shows a boy being pulled from the rubble by a firefighter.
Witnesses say people are currently trapped inside the building’s south tower. Crews are continuing to use ladder trucks to rescue residents from balconies.
The building was built in 1981 and has more than 100 condo units. It is about 12 stories tall.
The rest of the building appears to not have power at this time and it appeared that part of at least four levels were totally destroyed in the collapse.
Those who were rescued or are in the area are being kept away from the building to prevent any injuries from falling debris and to prevent further collapse.
The cause of the collapse remains unclear, however people in the area told Local 10 News that work was being done on the roof of the building with the use of heavy equipment.
Authorities say southbound traffic is currently being diverted west on 96th Street, while northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue.
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