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United States: dozens of missing after building collapse in Florida


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A twelve-story residential building near Miami collapsed on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, raising fears of dozens of victims. Local authorities said at least one person died in the incident, but they still had no news from 99 people.

Authorities are still without news of 99 people after the dramatic collapse of a twelve-story building in the resort town of Surf, north of Miami Beach. This was declared Thursday, June 24, the Miami-Dade police chief, Freddy Ramirez, raising fears of a heavy toll.

“Fifty-three people located, we have no news of 99 people,” he said.

“It could be for various reasons, we are still at the preliminary stage” of research, he added.

At least one person has been killed in the disaster with the so far unexplained cause, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said he is preparing “for bad news”.

At least 18 nationals from three Latin American countries were missing Thursday after a residential building collapsed near Miami, United States, the Argentine, Paraguayan and Uruguayan consulates reported.

The twelve floors collapsed around 1.30 a.m. (5.30 a.m. GMT), according to witnesses, releasing a large cloud of dust over several blocks.

Hundreds of firefighters and rescuers are still mobilized to try to find survivors in the rubble.

“Like an earthquake”

Footage from a local channel, NBC 6 South Florida, showed firefighters removing a living boy from the rubble.

A resident of the neighborhood, Santo Mejil, said his wife – a home help – was in the building when it partially collapsed.

“She said she heard a big explosion. It was like an earthquake,” he told the Miami Herald daily, tears in his eyes as his wife called him back to tell him that she was being evacuated.

The causes of the collapse of this residential complex were still “unknown” Thursday morning, told the Miami Herald Daniella Levine Cava, head of Miami-Dade County.

Work was underway on the roof of the building, Charles Burkett told NBC, nonetheless considering it unlikely that they were the cause of the collapse. “I think it’s a catastrophic failure of this building.”

Emergency services dispatched dozens of response units to the scene near the beach.

Miami Beach Police said their officers had come to the aid of the town of Surfside after “a partial collapse of a building,” adding that several police and fire departments were on call.

Local media reported that the building was built in 1981 and included more than 130 apartments.

With AFP and Reuters



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