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A 12-story residential building collapsed early Thursday in the Floridian town of Surfside, destroying 55 apartments and prompting dozens of first responders to be dispatched to the zone. While rescuers have evacuated dozens, many remain unaccounted for.
In Miami, Florida, law enforcement officials said in their latest update to local media that 99 people remain unaccounted for after the Surfside building collapsed in the area.
Officials have indicated that the partial building collapse killed at least one individual and injured 10 others. However, officials have also stressed that an official tally of injuries and fatalities remains unclear as the situation is still "fluid."
Miami-Dade police relayed to The Washington Post that approximately 53 people have been accounted for as of Thursday afternoon.
Commissioner Sally Heyman highlighted that individuals who have been designated as "unaccounted for" have been tallied as such "because they have not been heard from or have not called family or friends to say they are okay."
The partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condo unfolded shortly after 1:30 a.m., effectively trapping many residents who were likely asleep at the time.
Heyman has also noted that the Miami-Dade Police Department's homicide unit is currently in charge of investigating the missing individuals.
Surveillance footage released earlier Thursday captured the exact moment that the collapse occurred, showing several lights on some units when the building collapsed.
Incidentally, the 40-year-old building's partial collapse took place a day after it had passed an inspection, Surfside Vice Mayor Tina Paul told the Post. At present, investigators are still unsure what prompted that collapse.
U.S. President Joe Biden has stated that he has been in contact with Florida officials, including Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Cava and US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), saying earlier that he had a "long discussion" with Cava about the development. He further clarified that federal response resources are ready to be dispatched if needed.