A disaster occurred early Thursday morning with a massive apartment collapse in the Champlain Towers complex in Surfside, Florida. As of this writing, there was one person confirmed dead and at least 99 other people unaccounted for from the building. The collapse was sudden and seemingly without warning, razing a massive section of the complex in a scene that is frankly horrific. Rescue operations are underway to remove people who could still be alive in the rubble.
A video of the apartment collapse was captured in the early morning hours, showing a scene that never happens. Out of nowhere, a section of the apartment is suddenly falling as if it was a planned detonation. Then, a moment later another section of the apartment building collapses as well, churning up dust and rubble in an instant. You can see the video below:
With emergency operations underway there is a growing fear that the death toll will rise dramatically over the next hours and days. There have been some found alive in the rubble of the apartment collapse with multiple sources reporting seeing rescue workers removing some who were presumed still alive. According to the most recent reports, at least 35 people had been pulled from the debris and were still thought to be alive. But that doesn’t account for many others who are feared trapped or worse in the debris.
The apartment collapse was in a fully functional residential building of around 130 units. It’s thought that at least 65 of these units were involved with the disaster, though it’s unknown how many were occupied. Apparently, the units had a mix of year-round residents as well as vacationers. Part of the issue at hand in determining the number of people missing is that the building doesn’t track which residents are currently staying in different units.
Surfside, Florida is located just outside Miami in a beach town sitting on the other side of Biscayne Bay, away from the city. Emergency services from all over the state have responded to the apartment collapse though the cause is still not known. There has been reporting that the building was built in 1981 and had been going through repairs recently. While those repairs aren’t suspected to be the cause of the collapse, the investigation is ongoing.
Additional scenes of the apartment collapse show almost unimaginable damage in the area, resembling a disaster movie, turning this massive section into debris. Part of the apartment building remains intact, with at least one section still standing. But the U-shaped building was razed along one section entirely, with some units sitting fully exposed after the fall.
This story is developing in real-time with rescue operations still underway. There’s hope that more residents will be found among the debris and that those unaccounted for weren’t residing in the building at the time of the apartment collapse. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has toured the area and offered aid to help in the recovery efforts.
We are sure to hear more details about the apartment collapse over the next few days. The scene is considered unstable at this point, making the rescue operations a slow and methodical process.