Partial building collapse near Miami

By Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Fernando Alfonso III and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Updated 1109 GMT (1909 HKT) June 25, 2021
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3:44 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

99 people still unaccounted for in building collapse, according to Miami-Dade police 

From CNN’s Rosa Flores

Ninety-nine people are unaccounted for after the partial building collapse in Surfside, Florida, according to Miami-Dade Police Department spokesperson Alvaro Zabaleta.

Previous reports were that 51 people were unaccounted for in the incident at the Champlain Towers South condominiums.

Watch here:

3:05 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

The NBA's Miami Heat lend help at partial building collapse

From CNN's Jacob Lev 

National Basketball Association's Miami Heat helped distribute bottles of water and snacks to emergency workers at the site of the partial building collapse in Surfside, Florida, the team confirmed to CNN.

Heat player Tyler Herro, assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass, director of basketball administration Scott Gurka, and vice president/executive director of Miami Heat charitable fund Steve Stowe were the members on site helping on Thursday.

World Central Kitchen and Direct Relief, both who are recipients of the Heat's charitable arm, were also on hand at the scene. World Central Kitchen is feeding first responders and Direct Relief is helping displaced residents.

3:00 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Mayor of nearby village says the silence at the scene of the collapsed building is "deafening"

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

CNN
CNN

Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman described the scene at the Champlain Towers collapse as “devastating.” Bal Harbour is around a mile north of Surfside, Florida, where the collapse occurred.

“Frankly, it’s devastating. The site is devastating,” Groisman told CNN’s Ana Cabrera, adding that half of the building is “a pile of rubble.” 

Groisman, who toured the site of the collapse with the governor and other elected officials, said what struck him was the silence at the scene. 

“What stood out was the quiet,” he said. “To see the building just sitting there in just silence, you know the unfortunate truth of the fact there are many people that are in that rubble and all you hear is silence. And it’s really deafening.” 

Officials said search and rescue efforts could take nearly a week. At least 51 people who are assumed to live in the building are unaccounted for, officials said, but it's unclear if any of them were home at the time of the collapse.

Groisman said he lived in the building from 1983 to 1991 and described it as one “that generally, at least from the outside, seems to be in good condition.”

The community is largely Jewish, Groisman said, and the building is mostly occupied by senior citizens and young families. 

Groisman revealed he knows a number of people who are unaccounted for, adding that the community is “tight knit.”

3:27 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Biden: FEMA is "ready to go" if Florida governor declares a state of emergency after collapse

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

President Biden said that federal resources, including assistance from FEMA, are "ready to go" to respond to the building collapse in Surfside, Florida, and that they're waiting for Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency.

"So, we are on top of it, we are ready to move from the federal resources immediately... If in fact we're asked for it. But we can't go in and do it, but FEMA is down there taking a look at what's needed," Biden said.

Biden noted that his chief of staff Ron Klain is heavily involved along with members of his Cabinet to make sure federal resources are ready to be deployed.

"My chief of staff has been deeply involved in this from the very beginning. We got the cabinet involved in it now in terms of dealing with FEMA. We're working on it. I made it clear, I say to the people of Florida, 'Whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we're waiting, just ask us, we'll be there,'" Biden said.

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2:21 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

4 Venezuelan and 8 Argentinian citizens missing in Florida building collapse, according to consulates

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

The consulates of two countries, Venezuela and Argentina, say that a number of their citizens are missing in the Surfside, Florida, building collapse. 

Brian Fincheltub, Venezuela's consular affairs director, wrote on Twitter that they have identified four citizens that are in the building.  

"We are already in contact with the authorities that are searching and their families," he went onto say.

In a press release published on Twitter, Argentina's consulate in Miami said that nine citizens are currently missing. 

 

1:52 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Miami-Dade mayor: The collapse is an "unimaginable" situation, but we are hopeful

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

WPLG
WPLG

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that while the collapse of the building is an "unimaginable situation that none of us could have predicted" they have the right people on the job and are "very hopeful."

"Our team at Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue has dealt with collapse situations before. Their dogs are trained. They have been on the scene since they got the call at 1:38 this morning. And they are doing a fantastic job. They were able to rescue so many from the buildings, the intact building, the collapsed building, and really incredible that at this time we've only identified one person as having passed. So we are very, very hopeful," Cava said.

Cava said that the city is working with the Red Cross and its own social service agency to accommodate people who are displaced. Cava also noted how surrounding cities and towns have offered assistance with their police departments.

"They've all come to help with their police departments, with their own moral support and presence," she said.

Cava noted that the area is predominately Jewish and support from rabbis and chaplains are on hand as well.

The mayor also highlighted reunification efforts for those looking for missing people.

"Anyone who is looking for a missing loved one, anyone with information, we have a hotline, 305-614-1819. This is how we are going about continuing this operation with the support of family members. We are also going to be receiving family members. We're going to accommodate them," she said.

2:10 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Short-term hotels have been set up for displaced people, governor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Lynne Sladky/AP
Lynne Sladky/AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said with help from the Red Cross, short-term hotels are now set up for people who were displaced by the building collapse.

Officials said approximately 55 units at the Champlain Towers South were impacted. On Thursday morning, County Commissioner Sally Heyman said 51 people who are assumed to be living there have not been accounted for.

The governor said "it is really, really traumatic to see the collapse of a mass like that."

He said the next steps will be to "with the city and the county, state, to make sure that there's any longer-term needs, that we can be helpful in any way we can."

DeSantis said rescue crews are still working hard, looking for people.

"We still have hope to be able to identify additional survivors, and the state of Florida, we're offering any assistance we can," he said.

1:00 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Biden has been briefed on partial building collapse

From CNN's DJ Judd and Jason Hoffman

President Biden told reporters today that he has been briefed on the building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida.

“I have, I’ve spoken with the mayor, I’ve spoken with the congresswoman, and I’ll have more to say later," he told reporters at the White House.

An official also said the White House and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with local officials to help provide assistance.

“This morning the President spoke with Mayor Levine Cava and offered federal assistance and support for dealing with the terrible tragedy in Surfside. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain spoke with Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz, in whose district the building is located, and the White House and FEMA are coordinating with local officials to provide assistance if needed," said a White House official. “Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their beloved as a result of this horrific incident – and to those families who wait in anguish as search-and-rescue teams assess the situation. The White House is continuing to monitor the situation, and we send our gratitude to the heroic first responders who are working tirelessly to save lives this morning.”

What we know: At least one person is dead and at least 10 are injured. At least 51 people assumed to be living in the building are not accounted for, officials say.

12:37 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Mayor of Miami-Dade says she has spoken with President Biden after building collapse

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos and Mel Alonso 

The mayor of Miami-Dade said Thursday that she has spoken with President Biden about the catastrophic building collapse in Surfside, Florida.  

“Just got off the phone with POTUS. He offered the full support of the federal government to help our community during this difficult time. We continue to work with local, state, and federal agencies as we respond to this tragedy and do everything we can to support the impacted families,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted Thursday. 

Levine Cava met with Biden at the White House Wednesday to discuss gun violence, according to a tweet. 

“I’m heading back to Miami-Dade after a productive day at the White House. Thank you to POTUS for a great meeting – and for the renewed national commitment to tackling gun violence and keeping all our communities safe,” she tweeted yesterday.