A 12 story condominium in Surfside, about 15 miles north of Miami, partially collapsed Wednesday night, prompting a massive search and rescue effort. At least 1 person died and 35 were rescued from Thursday morning. Here is what we know about the building. [Check back for more updates.]
What happened at Surfside?
Firefighters uprooted dozens of people from the condominium after part of the structure collapsed into a huge pile of twisted steel and concrete, authorities said.
Residents seeking to flee the building screamed for help, and some were pulled from the building by firefighters using ladders. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett has confirmed that at least one person has died and warned the death toll is likely to rise.
“The building is literally a pancake,” Burkett said. “It’s heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we’re going to be as successful as we want to find people alive.”
Raide Jadallah, deputy chief of fire operations at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said 35 people were extracted from the partially collapsed building at Champlain Towers South. Two more were rescued from the rubble, he said. More than 80 technical and rescue teams were on site in Surfside, a few miles north of Miami Beach.
Ten people were treated at the scene and two were taken to hospital, one of whom died, Burkett said, adding that 15 families left the building on their own.
An entire building is missing, not just the side, according to reports. The building that collapsed was the Champlain Building. The Solera Surfside Resort is a hotel next to the Champlain. Authorities on Thursday separated two main groups of people, one for the reunification of Champlain and one for the relocation of Solera.
What do we know about the building?
Champlain Towers South condominiums were built in 1981. The construction style is concrete block. The Champlain South towers contained 135 units. In previous reports, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava reported that about half of the building’s 130+ units were affected by the condo collapse. Miami Dade firefighters confirmed 55 units were affected.
Which units were affected?
A contractor who frequently works in the building told a reporter for the USA TODAY Network that it appeared that the units on each floor ending in 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12 were the ones affected by the collapse of the condo.
What else do we know about the units?
Of the 135 units, 29 are owned by corporations or LLCs. The rest are individuals or persons held in trust for an individual. They range from the smallest two-bedroom units to one of the larger, a 4,500-square-foot four-bedroom unit valued at $ 1.4 million by the Miami County Dade real estate appraiser.
A check carried out on Thursday showed Zillow announces units for sale at Champlain Towers South Condominiums, 8777 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.
One unit, # 405, was a 1,579 square foot two bedroom, two bathroom condominium listed for $ 600,000. The estimated payment was $ 2,715 per month. Features include a dining room, living room, kitchen, tiled floors, accordion shutters, hurricane shutters, balcony, walk-in closet, Roman tub and bidet in the master bathroom and a lift.
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Another unit, # 602, was a 1,672 square foot beachfront condominium with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, listed for $ 650,000. The estimated payment was $ 3,862 per month. Features include a dining area, living room, kitchen with stainless steel appliances, balcony, tile and vinyl floors, Roman tub and bidet in the master bathroom, and lift.
As per the listing, condo residents have access to a barbecue / picnic area, clubhouse, fitness center, heated pool, and hot tub.
Where is the building located?
The condominium is in Surfside, approximately 15 miles north of Miami. Neighboring neighborhoods are Bay Harbor Island, Beach Bay in Sunny Isles Beach and Biscayne Point in North Miami. The address is 8777 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.
Are neighboring buildings threatened by collapse?
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said families would be relocated to other locations in the city, but a nearby hotel would not be used. “We are concerned that the building is in danger of further collapse.”
“The problem is, the building literally has pancake,” he said.
What do we know about the region?
The town of Surfside has long been an enclave of the Argentine-American community after the economic collapse of the 1990s in the South American country. The view of steak restaurants and empanadas is tucked away in high-rise buildings. The sounds of Porteño Spanish are more common than Caribbean Spanish.
Contribution: Megan Kearney, USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida