ALL NEWS

Miami-area condo collapses, killing at least 1 person

Jun 24, 2021, 7:12 AM | Updated: 7:21 am
A partially collapsed building is seen early Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami...
A partially collapsed building is seen early Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami, Fla. A partial building collapse in Miami caused a massive response early Thursday from Miami Dade Fire Rescue, according to a tweet from the department's account. Miami Dade Fire Rescue is conducting search and rescue. Authorities had no word yet on casualties, or details of how many people lived in the building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — The sea-view side of a beachfront condo tower collapsed in the Miami-area town of Surfside early Thursday morning, killing at least one, trapping residents in rubble and twisted metal and sending a cloud of debris throughout the neighborhood.

Scores of rescue units rushed to the partially collapsed building and firefighters were seen pulling survivors from the concrete debris.

In a tweet, Miami-Dade police said one person has died in the collapse.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said during a news conference that the building manager told him the building was substantially full.

“The building is literally pancaked,” Burkett said. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we are going to be as successful as we wanted to be in finding people alive.”

Ten people were treated at the scene and two were brought to the hospital, one of whom died, Burkett said. He also said 15 families walked out of the building on their own.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never seen anything like this happen,” he said.

Santo Mejil, 50, told the Miami Herald his wife called him from the building, where she was working as an aide for an elderly woman.

“She said she heard a big explosion. It felt like an earthquake,” Mejil told the newspaper. He said she later called him and said rescuers were bringing her down.

A partially collapsed building is seen early Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami, Fla. A partial building collapse in Miami caused a massive response early Thursday from Miami Dade Fire Rescue, according to a tweet from the department's account. Miami Dade Fire Rescue is conducting search and rescue. Authorities had no word yet on casualties, or details of how many people lived in the building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) A partial collapsed building is seen early Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Surfside area of Miami, Fla. A partial building collapse in Miami caused a massive response early Thursday from Miami Dade Fire Rescue, according to a tweet from the department's account. Miami Dade Fire Rescue is conducting search and rescue. Authorities had no word yet on casualties, or details of how many people lived in the building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) A partial collapsed building is seen early Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Surfside area of Miami, Fla. A partial building collapse in Miami caused a massive response early Thursday from Miami Dade Fire Rescue, according to a tweet from the department's account. Miami Dade Fire Rescue is conducting search and rescue. Authorities had no word yet on casualties, or details of how many people lived in the building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) A section of a partially collapsed building is seen early Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami, Fla. A partial building collapse in Miami caused a massive response early Thursday from Miami Dade Fire Rescue, according to a tweet from the department's account. Miami Dade Fire Rescue is conducting search and rescue. Authorities had no word yet on casualties, or details of how many people lived in the building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Miami Dade Fire Rescue was conducting search and rescue operations, and said in a tweet that more than 80 units were “on scene with assistance from municipal fire departments.”

“We’re on the scene so it’s still very active,” said Sgt. Marian Cruz of the Surfside Police Department. “What I can tell you is the building is twelve floors. The entire back side of the building has collapsed.”

Burkett said roof work was being done on the building, but added that roofing work goes on in other buildings and he did not see how that could have caused the building to collapse.

Teams of fire fighters walked through the rubble, picking up survivors and carrying them from the wreckage.

The collapse left a number of units in the still-standing part of the building exposed. Television footage showed bunk beds, tables and chairs still left inside the damaged apartments. Air conditioner units were hanging from some parts of the building, where wires now dangled.

Police blocked nearby roads, and scores of fire and rescue vehicles, ambulances and police cars swarmed the area.

The debris from the collapse coated cars up to two blocks away with a light layer of dust.

Photos and video from the scene show the collapse affected half the tower. Piles of rubble and debris surrounded the area just outside the building. The department has yet to say what may have caused the collapse.

The sea-view condo development 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.

The area is a mix of new and old apartments, houses, condominiums and hotels, with restaurants and stores serving an international combination of residents and tourists. The community provides a stark contrast from bustle and glitz of South Beach with a slower paced neighborhood feel.

___

This story has been corrected to show that Sgt. Marian Cruz works for the Surfside Police Department, not Miami Dade Fire Rescue.

___

Associated Press writers Freida Frisaro in Fort Lauderdale and Ian Mader in Miami contributed to this report.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Mark Jones

Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse

A 22-year-old staff member of a school in southern Utah was arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse.
19 hours ago
President John F. Kennedy signs the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Cente...
Curt Gresseth

Is forcing the homeless into treatment the answer?

NYC Mayor Eric Adams has announced a program that involuntarily treats homeless people in "psychiatric crisis." A BYU psychologist weighs the New York approach against the ethics of patient autonomy.
19 hours ago
NBA Ice Buckets...
Devin Oldroyd

NBA fans invited to show “ice in their veins” at NBA Ice Buckets challenge

The NBA and Utah Jazz invite you to play NBA Ice Buckets, a free-to-play indoor basketball shooting challenge at Trolley Square.
19 hours ago
Both Utah rail workers and Utah farmers expressed relief that a threatened rail strike was averted ...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Union Pacific, Utah farmers, relieved threat of strike has passed

Union Pacific Railroad representatives said claims about days off, made by workers threatening to strike, were outright false.
19 hours ago
Police in Moscow, Idaho say that a person listed on the lease of the house where 4 students were fo...
Elizabeth Wolfe and Mallika Kallingal, CNN

Moscow police say 6th person on lease isn’t involved in Idaho homicides

The four Idaho homicide victims were found stabbed to death on November 13 in an off-campus house in the college town.
19 hours ago
The owners of long-time local favorite, Hell's Backbone Grill and Farm, thought they would have to ...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Fiercely self-sufficient Hell’s Backbone cafe owners turn to public for help

The Hell's Backbone Grill and Farm owners were persuaded by friends and supporters to not give up. It looks to have worked.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Miami-area condo collapses, killing at least 1 person