TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An oceanfront condo building partially collapsed in Surfside early Thursday morning, leaving at least one person dead and dozens injured.
Security camera video captured by Andy Slater showed the building fall to the ground in a cloud of dust and debris.
“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,” one witness told NBC 6.
“The building has literally pancaked, it has gone down, and I mean there’s just feet in between stories where there were 10 feet,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we’re gonna be as successful as we would want to be to find people alive.”
Police said crews were able to rescue 35 people from the structure, then two others were pulled from the rubble. Authorities said at least one person died in the collapse. Two others were hospitalized in critical condition. Ten were treated at the scene, according to police.
“They have pulled some people out of even rubble already. But there’s so much destruction that they have not gone through everything,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “They’re going to be going through a lot of that today and we’re hoping for additional rescues but we’re also bracing for some potentially terrible news because it was a real catastrophe. For that to happen at 1 in the morning… it was mostly occupied.”