A BRIT mum and her family are among those missing after a portion of an apartment building collapsed near Miami Beach
At least one person is dead and 99 people remain unaccounted for after the accident in Surfside at 1:30am on Thursday.
A British family is among those missing after a portion of an apartment block collapsed in Miami[/caption]
At least 99 people remain unaccounted for, officials said[/caption]
Bhavna Patel, a 38-year-old dual citizen, her husband Vishal Patel, 42, and their daughter Aishani, one, are yet to be found, a family member told Sky News.
They posted last night: “Please help me locate my family. They have been missing due to the #surfsidecollapse. Any information at all is much appreciated.”
Police said that 99 people linked to the building are unaccounted for and that 102 others have since been marked as safe.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said: “The building is literally pancaked. “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.”
Officials confirmed that 55 apartments caved in, causing multiple injuries as 35 people were pulled from the wreckage, with 10 injured.
Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Florida following the apartment collapse and ordered federal assistance to assist local response efforts.
The White House said: “The President’s action authorises the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.”
The declaration came just hours after Kamala Harris had to remind Biden about the collapse while he was addressing reporters on Thursday.
He had forgot to mention the disaster before his VP stepped in.
It’s not yet known what caused the apartment block to collapse[/caption]
Firefighters rescued a 10-year-old boy from the rubble[/caption]
Biden said: “I say to the people of Florida: whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we are waiting.”
Footage shows rescue teams drilling through concrete under the collapsed Champlain Towers amid a desperate search for survivors
Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez described the collapse site as “very dangerous” and “very unstable.”
Authorities fear that many more people will be seriously injured or dead as they continue to sift through the wreckage.
Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said crews heard sounds from under the rubble and that “all operations are occurring underneath” it.
“They are occurring underneath the parking garage where we have teams of firefighters constantly as they continue making cuts, breaches and placing sonar devices, search cams to locate victims,” he said.
“We did receive sounds. Not necessarily people talking, but sounds. What sounds like people banging, not people but sounds of a possibility of a banging. We haven’t heard any voices coming from the pile.”
The cause of the high-rise collapse remains unknown.
Aerial footage shows the extent of the devastation[/caption]
Mangled wreckage shows air conditioning units[/caption]
Dozens were pulled from the block as around 80 emergency crews and five state agencies responded to the incident in Surfside.
The exact number of people who are trapped under the rubble remains unknown.
Video shows a little boy being pulled from the wreckage by a firefighter.
One witness, who was in a neighboring building, said the collapse felt like a “tornado or earthquake”.
He told Fox News: “It was the craziest thing I ever heard in my life.”
Kimberly Morales told CNN that she was woken up by an alarm and residents knocking on her door.
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Footage uploaded to social media appears to show debris falling from the ceiling of a resident’s apartment.
It’s reported that the building’s foundations still continue to shake – hours after the accident happened.
The apartment complex was built in 1981 and around 80 residences of Champlain Towers South were occupied.