Many feared dead after Florida beachfront condo collapses – News Vibe24

    Many feared dead after Florida beachfront condo collapses - Times of India
    SURFACE: A coastal condominium building partially collapsed outside Miami on Thursday, killing at least one person and trapping others in a tower that looked like a huge broken dollhouse, with one side cut off. Dozens of survivors were pulled and rescuers continued to search for more.
    A wing of the 12-story building in the Surfside community collapsed with a roar around 1:30 p.m. As of late afternoon, nearly 100 people had not yet had access, authorities said, raising fears the death toll could rise sharply. Officials did not know how many were in the tower when it fell.
    “The building is literally frozen,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett. “This is sad because it does not mean to me that we will be as successful as we wanted to find people alive.”
    Hours after the crash, investigators were trying to reach a trapped child whose parents are believed to be dead. In another case, rescuers rescued a mother and child, but the woman’s leg had to be amputated to remove it from the wreckage, said Frank Rollason, director of emergency management at the Miami-Dade in the Miami Herald.
    The video showed firefighters removing a boy from the wreckage, but it was not clear if he was the same person Rolson reported. The teams were trying to enter the building from a garage under construction.
    Captain Ron DeSantis, who toured the scene, said television did not record the magnitude of what happened.
    Rescue crews “are doing everything they can to save lives. “This is ongoing and they are not going to rest,” he said.
    Teams of 10 to 12 rescuers each time entered the wreckage with dogs and other equipment, working until they got tired of the heavy lifting, and then paving the way for a new team, said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, his brigadier general. state.
    “They’re not going to stop just because of dusk,” Patronis told Miami WPLG. “They may have a different path to follow.”
    Patronis said he was deeply moved by the image of a bunk near the most exposed top of the building.
    “Someone was probably sleeping on it,” he said. “There is all this what-if.”
    Authorities did not say what caused the crash. In videotaped footage taken nearby, the center of the building appeared to fall first, with a nearest part of the ocean and falling seconds later as a huge cloud of dust swallowed the neighborhood.
    Work was done on the roof of the building, but Burkitt said he did not understand what the cause could be.
    President Joe Biden has promised to provide federal assistance if requested.
    The hotels opened to some displaced residents, the mayor said, and deliveries of food, medicine and more were rushed.
    About half of the building’s about 130 units were affected, the mayor told a news conference. Rescuers pulled at least 35 people from the rubble by noon and heavy equipment was introduced to help stabilize the structure to provide more access, said Raide Jadallah of the Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue.
    The tower has a mix of seasonal and residential all year round, and while the building maintains a visitor log, it does not keep track of when homeowners are staying, Burkett said.
    Fortuna Smukler posted about the disaster on Facebook, hoping to find out the location of Myriam Caspi Notkin and Arnie Notkin, an elderly couple living on the third floor.
    Arnie Notkin spent years teaching physical education at a local elementary school, said Smukler, a North Miami Beach commissioner who is friends with Myriam Notkin’s daughters.
    “He was such a beloved PE teacher from the human past,” he said. Everyone publishes, “My God, he was my coach.”
    “It would be a miracle if they were found alive,” he added.
    Nicolas Fernandez spent hours after the collapse trying to invite two friends who were staying in the building with their young daughter. The family had come to the United States to avoid the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Argentine country of origin, said Fernandez, of Miami.
    “The hope is that, perhaps, someone will hear the call. “I know there are dogs inside,” he said. “I know what I’m saying may sound ridiculous, but there is always hope until we hear otherwise.”
    In all, 22 South Americans were missing during the collapse – nine from Argentina, six from Paraguay, four from Venezuela and three from Uruguay, according to officials in those countries.
    The collapse, which appeared to affect one foot of the L-shaped tower, broke the walls and opened several houses in the immovable part of the building. The TV footage showed beds, tables and chairs inside. Air conditioners hang from some parts of the building, where the cables hang.
    Barry Cohen, 63, said he and his wife were sleeping in the building when they first heard what he thought was a thunderbolt. The couple went to their balcony, and then opened the door in the hallway of the building to find “a pile of rubble and dust and smoke wafting around.”
    “I could not get out of my door,” said Cohen, a former Surfside deputy mayor.
    Surfside City Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer told WPLG that the building’s 40-year re-certification process is ongoing. Salzhauer said the process is believed to proceed smoothly. A building inspector was on site Wednesday.
    “I want to know why this happened,” Salzhauer said. “It simply came to our notice then. … And can it happen again? Are our other buildings in the city at stake? ”
    The development of the seaside condo was built in 1981. It had on the market a few two-bedroom units, with asking prices from $ 600,000 to $ 700,000. The neighborhood feel of the area offers a stark contrast to the glamor and traffic of nearby South Beach.
    The area has a combination of new and old apartments, houses, condominiums and hotels, with restaurants and shops serving an international mix of locals and tourists. The main seaside attraction is lined with luxurious glass blocks of flats, but more modest houses are located inland. Among the residents of the neighborhood are snowfalls, Russian immigrants and Orthodox Jewish families.

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