At least 159 missing after partial building collapse near Miami

By Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 6:57 a.m. ET, June 26, 2021
67 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:52 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Rescue efforts in Surfside to continue through the night, Miami-Dade County mayor says

David Santiago/Miami Herald/AP
David Santiago/Miami Herald/AP

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the rescue efforts in Surfside will continue through the evening as 159 remain unaccounted for following the condo collapse.

"We're going to have more resources to pay for this expensive search and rescue and to give us access to more teams for the rescue later, for the clearance of the rubble and for the assistance for the families, as they put their lives back together," Cava said at a news briefing Friday evening.

Cava added: "We're here, we'll continue, and please stand by us. Stand by us, as we stand by the families."

Watch more:

8:39 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Officials provide an update on the condo collapse

Officials are providing an update on the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the numbers of those unaccounted for remains the same: 159 people are unaccounted for and four have been confirmed dead.

“The world is watching and the world is caring about what is happening right here in Surfside in Miami-Dade County,” the mayor said thanking those from around the state and country who have offered help.

Reporting from CNN's Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

8:02 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Parents say son is among the unaccounted for in building collapse

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Carlos Naibryf and Ronit Felszer
Carlos Naibryf and Ronit Felszer CNN

Ronit Felszer and Carlos Naibryf say their son Ilan Naibryf is missing in the collapse.

Ilan and his girlfriend were in town for a funeral and staying in the condo at an apartment her family had, the parents told CNN this evening. 

Felszer said she last spoke to her son on Wednesday morning. 

When asked to describe her son, Felszer said they are using the term “is” not “was.”

Describing him as a “loyal friend and a passionate, good, kind, generous young man,” Felszer said he is turning 22 in September and due to graduate from the University of Chicago as a physics major next May.

Carlos said that as family members, they aren’t receiving updates that they are hoping for, with names and more information, but understand the information they seek is not something authorities have to give.

“We’re hopeful. We have faith, but it’s difficult, it’s very difficult,” she said.

7:50 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

School of boy pulled alive from rubble says they are praying for his recovery

From CNN's Andrew Haag and Hollie Silverman

The school attended by the boy pulled alive from the rubble of the Champlain Towers collapse in Surfside said they are praying for his recovery in a post on social media Friday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the individuals that have been affected by the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers building in Surfside," the statement from Monsignor Edward Pace High School said. "Pace sophomore Jonah Handler was the young boy pulled from the rubble yesterday morning. He is currently being treated at the hospital and we are praying for his full recovery."

"We ask that you please keep Jonah, his family and all those affected in your prayers as search and rescue efforts continue. The family has asked to please respect their privacy at this time," the statement said.

7:38 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Miami-Dade mayor says she's holding out hope as search and rescue efforts continue

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava CNN

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told CNN that she is holding out hope that survivors will be rescued from the rubble at the collapsed Champlain Towers Condo site.

"I am holding out hope because our first responders tell me they have hope," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room Friday. "They are the ones on the ground. They are in the tunnels, they're in the water, they're on top of the rubble pile. They're helping to sift through using the cameras, the dogs the sonar and they say they have hope."

The mayor said the crews at the scene have made rescues all over the world, sometimes finding survivors alive after a week.

"They're in there. They're searching round the clock, through the rain through a fire, through the night in 12-hour shifts," she said, "So I have hope."

Levine Cava said the death toll remains at four and 159 people are still unaccounted for.

The priority right now is search and rescue, but engineers are on scene monitoring the building to make sure it doesn't collapse further or move and injure rescuers, the mayor said.

She told CNN that the rubble pile did get displaced at one point, but no one was injured.

"I just cannot tell you the admiration and respect I have for these fine men and women. And they are eager, they are motivated to get in there," Levine Cava said of the search and rescue crews. "They are there to get it done. They are determined."

Investigators will work to understand what happened in the collapse and review the 40-year certification requirements, Levine Cava said.

"Clearly we have lessons to learn from this and we will apply those lessons," she said. "We're focused right now on the immediate search and rescue. We can spare no effort to be sure that we can save as many lives as possible."

The mayor said she is thankful for the outpouring of support they have received from different cities and are providing hotels, food, counseling, and other resources for the families of those impacted by the collapse.

7:22 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Canada says preliminary reports indicate at least 4 of their citizens may be affected in collapse

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Canada said that as of Friday evening, preliminary reports indicate that at least four Canadian citizens may be affected in the collapse of a residential building in Surfside, Florida, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Ciara Trudeau tells CNN.

According to Trudeau, Canadian consular officials in Miami are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and are also in contact with the affected families.

“We stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens as necessary,” Trudeau said.

According to Global Affairs Canada, Canadian citizens in Florida requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Consulate General of Canada in Miami or may also contact Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

7:08 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Families should "have hope" as they wait to learn about their loved ones, fire chief says

Fire Chief Andy Alvarez of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department said there are more than 2,500 rescue personnel on the scene in Surfside working to save as many people as possible following the condo collapse Thursday.

"[B]esides what Miami-Dade Fire Rescue brings to the table of having over 72 fire stations, over 2,500 sworn personnel, that are working 24/7," Alvarez told CNN.

When asked what message he has for families still waiting to learn about their loved ones who are unaccounted for, he said, "have hope."

"There's always hope," he said.

Watch more:

7:08 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

Florida lawmaker describes condo collapse as "absolute desperation, it's devastation"

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Florida State Senator Jason Pizzo is on the ground near the building collapse in Surfside, and noted a distinct feeling of "absolute desperation, it's devastation."

"It's still being called search and rescue, but when each minute passes and the family members see that you just have a pancaked number of layers of floor slabs on top of each other compacted so tightly... it seems like that no one's listening," Pizzo told CNN's Jake Tapper.

"There's despair," said Pizzo of the scene.

To date, Pizzo said his district is getting the proper support and resources from state and national agencies.

"The mayor of Miami-Dade County signed a local state of emergency followed immediately, eight minutes later, by the governor and obviously President Biden was actually first to chime in and say, 'whatever we need, just get it to us.'"

The challenge, Pizzo noted, exists in finding some sense of emotional understanding as to how such a tragedy occurred.

"The really strange thing about this is, it's not malicious. It's not terrorism... it's just sad," said Rizzo, who added that "the outpouring of support has been overwhelming."

Watch:

5:54 p.m. ET, June 25, 2021

FEMA approves emergency declaration for building collapse

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the emergency declaration from the state of Florida for the Surfside building collapse, a news release issued Friday night by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) said.

The approval will allow for additional resources to be brought in, according to the release.

Both the state and county declared emergencies after the building collapsed.

FDEM has already deployed several resources including protective equipment for search and rescue teams, a mobile incident management unit, drones to assist with color imagery and 3D mapping for search and rescue efforts.