At least 3 dead and 99 missing is the number of people affected reported so far by the authorities of Miami Dade, Florida, United States, after the collapse or damage of 70 apartments of the 136 that make up the Champlain Tower South condominium.
The tragedy occurred on June 24, and the causes are still under investigation. The 12-story residential unit is located in the coastal town of Surfside, about 10 kilometers north of Miami Beach, reported ABC News.
Among the 35 people rescued from the rubble, 10 injured people were assisted. In addition, 15 other families were rescued by their own means.
The testimony of one of the witnesses who resides in the hotel adjacent to the partially collapsed building is chilling.
“All of a sudden people started screaming for help. I could see people on the balconies yelling,’ help me,'” said Jeff and Penney Pias, 60 and 56, of Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. “I just wanted the firetrucks to get there I knew it was their only hope,” they added, according to USA Today.
And they added that the collapse sounded like a “huge tornado.” “I didn’t see the building just the dust covering the sky. We were on the second floor, the windows shook and the alarm went off.”
As a precautionary measure, a family reunification center was set up nearby. Also, chaplains and victim advocates went to the scene to support survivors and family members in need of resources.
“Our social service agencies as well are coming in. They are going to be here to assist in the hours and days ahead,” reported Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
For his part, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis referred to the incident as a “tragic, tragic situation.”
He added: “We’ll hope for the best in terms of additional recoveries, but we are bracing for some bad news just given the destruction we are seeing,” he told reporters. “We still have hope to be able to identify additional survivors,” he said.
Mayor Charles W. Burkett said the collapse occurred at 1:03 a.m., so it is presumed that it will take some time. M., so it is presumed that the number of injured and dead could be much higher, given the complete occupation of the apartments.
“It’s heartbreaking because it doesn’t seem to me … that we’re going to find people alive,” Burkett lamented.
In a radio interview, Burkett explained that the building had been built in 1981, that is, 40 years ago, so its administrators were probably in the process of the regulatory review that must be carried out on all buildings that reach that age.
Among the missing is the family of the sister of the first lady of Paraguay, Sofía López Moreira, her husband, Luis Pettengill, three children and the nanny, Lady Luna Villalba, according to reports from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, added ABC News.
Emergency workers heard “sounds and bangs” late Thursday afternoon, said Ray Jadallah, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assistant chief — but no voices.
On the other hand, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order in May that absolutely eliminates all local restrictions to fight the pandemic caused by the CCP Virus throughout the state, becoming one of the few governors to make this decision.
The proposal by lawmakers and recently approved by the governor also incorporates a permanent executive order by DeSantis banning “vaccine passports,” arguing that it is unnecessary to “monitor people at this time.”
The order also suspends all local emergency legislation effective July 1. This release of restrictions triggered a large influx of residents migrating from other states, mainly Democrats, fleeing the oppression of the heavy regulations in place in those places concerning the high demand for residential units.