Rescuers continue search for Surfside survivors as DeSantis declares emergency (includes video story)

Rescuers continue their desperate search for any survivors in the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo. The 12-story condominium is located in Surfside and was built in 1981. It has 136 units and 55 of them collapsed around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday. 

Emergency units responded to the scene, and residents in the other parts of the building were quickly evacuated. Nearby security footage shows the moment the building collapsed. In the wake of the disaster was a huge pile of rubble and dangling girders. The building was undergoing roof work, but Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett does not believe that caused the collapse. 

On Friday morning, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed 4 dead and 159 unaccounted for. Many people were passing out flyers and posting images of missing loved ones on social media.

The search continues. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is asking those who live at Champlain Towers to complete a wellness check form as part of their efforts to ensure that all residents of the building are located.

Click here for our story on family reunification. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis examined the scene with other community leaders and declared a state of emergency in Florida. 

“The TV doesn’t do it justice,” he said. “I mean it is really really traumatic to see the collapse of a massive structure like that.”

The Governor said he remained hopeful additional survivors would be found. He also thanked first responders for their continued efforts. 

President Joe Biden offered additional resources for Florida, saying the federal government is ready to help.

Anyone looking for a missing relative as a result of the collapse is asked to go to the reunification center at 9301 Collins Ave. 

Erika Jimenez is a bilingual broadcast media major at Florida International University. Her passion for her major encourages her to be a voice for those in her community. She hopes to become an anchor one day.