A massive search and rescue effort was underway early Thursday following the partial collapse of a 12-story condo building in Surfside, Florida.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said more than 80 units responded to the collapse at the condominium building near 88th Street and Collins Avenue just north of Miami Beach around 2 a.m.
The county’s Technical Rescue Team was being assisted by municipal fire departments in searching the scene for survivors, officials said.
Footage from the scene showed a large section of the building collapsed into a pile of rubble.
At one point, firefighters were seen pulling a boy from the rubble and putting him onto a stretcher.
A boy is rescued by firefighters from the rubble of a partial collapse of a condo building in Surfside.
Firefighters were also seen using a ladder truck to rescue people who were still in sections of the building that didn’t collapse.
One witness posted footage of the aftermath on social media, saying he had been staying at a hotel across the street and had to be evacuated after the collapse.
Footage from a witness shows the aftermath of a partial building collapse in Surfside.
“The building, one of these huge buildings, gone, right there beside us, the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” the man said in the video. “Look at the building, it’s gone.”
Another witness said it looked like the entire rear of the building collapsed.
“I was able to just see probably a third, if not half of the building, literally collapsed,” the witness said. “I just can’t put into words, it looks like a bomb hit, it looks like something in one of these ‘Third World’ countries that just literally collapsed, like a pancake straight down, and there’s just an incredible pile of rubble.”
Helicopter footage gives an aerial view of the partial condo building collapse in Surfside.
Miami Beach Police said their officers also responded to the building, the Champlain Towers South Condos at 8777 Collins Avenue.
It was unknown how many people had been in the building and there was no word on how many people could be injured. Officials said they don’t know what caused the collapse.
“Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is on scene, they’re conducting rescues as we speak,” Surfside Police Sgt. Marian Cruz said. “It’s a very active scene, I advise everyone to just stay out of the area so that fire rescue and officers can conduct rescues and do what we need to do.”
Records showed the 12-story building was built in 1981 and has more than 130 units.
Officials said residents were being moved to the Surfside Community Center, and streets in the area were closed.
No other information was immediately known.
Check back with NBC 6 for updates.
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