Almost 100 Unaccounted For After Condo Collapses in Miami

Rescue workers in Miami have frantically been searching for signs of life within the rubble of a collapsed 12-storey beachfront condominium in the north of the city.

Officials have said that at least one resident has passed away, and there are 99 people still missing after the disintegration of the building early on Thursday morning US time.

With relatives anxiously waiting on news of their loved ones, rescue teams have been working non-stop to locate survivors, and have reported hearing banging noises coming from the structure’s remains.

The circumstances surrounding the collapse of the 40-year old condo tower in Surfside are unclear.

Authorities have confirmed that 102 residents have been located, but it has not been determined how many were at home when the building toppled down.

Reports say at least 30 survivors have been pulled from the debris.

As night descended upon the Champlain Towers South Condo following the incident, hundreds of rescuers equipped with sonar cameras sifted through the rubble. Some had specially trained dogs to assist them in locating any survivors.

For access, they tunneled from an underground car park below the wrecked tower, to increase their chances of reaching anyone still alive.

“Fire and rescue are in there with their search team, with their dogs,” Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez announced to reporters at the scene.

“They’re in search-and-rescue mode, and they will be in that mode for a while. They are not quitting. They’re going to work through the night. They are not stopping.”

Although rescue teams had heard banging and other loud noises, there were no voices detected by any of the rescuers.

The officials on the scene have expressed concern that there could be further rubble to come down, potentially endangering rescue workers.

“This process is slow and methodical,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assistant fire chief Ray Jadallah told reporters. “Anytime we started breaching parts of the structure, we get rubble falling on us.”

The weather in the area is also working against the rescue operation, with heavy rain and storms further complicating the arduous challenges faced by the search and rescue teams.

Medical officials have asked relatives of the missing to provide DNA samples incase their remains are found within the rubble.

Those family members have gathered at a community centre close to the collapsed condo tower, waiting and praying for good news to be relayed to them.