Twelve-story Miami Beach apartment building collapses leaving at least one dead

A massive rescue operation is underway after an apartment building close to Miami Beach collapsed in the early hours of this morning and reportedly left at least one person dead and nine others injured.

The ocean-front building, a twelve-story apartment complex called Champlain Towers South, has partially collapsed, fire rescue services have confirmed.

Neighbours say the building of around 100 apartments that sell for up to $915,000 was mostly occupied after being completed in 1981 near 88th street and Collins Avenue in Surfside, FloridaJared and Ivanka Trump’s rented Miami Beach apartment is one block away.

One woman has died and at least nine people are injured, including a firefighter, following the collapse just before 1.30am, according to local media reports. One person is said to be in critical condition.

There are fears that many more people may be dead or remain trapped beneath the rubble and witnesses have reported hearing screaming from the wreckage as a search-and-rescue operation begins.

One witness, who was staying in the south Florida island city with his family, was in a neighbouring building at the time and said the collapse sounded and felt like a tornado or earthquake, Fox News reported.

The witness claimed that much of the building was occupied at the time of the collapse, which he estimated to have occurred at around 1.20am.

He told the publication: ‘It was the craziest thing I ever heard in my life.’ 

Video footage showed a boy being pulled from the wreckage by firefighters as the huge search-and-rescue operation continued, according to NBC6.

A rescue operation is underway after an apartment building near 88th street and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach collapsed (pictured) in the early hours of this morning Witnesses claimed to have heard people screaming beneath the rubble

A rescue operation is underway after an apartment building near 88th street and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach collapsed (pictured) in the early hours of this morning Witnesses claimed to have heard people screaming beneath the rubble

The building, a twelve-story apartment block called Champlain Towers South (pictured), collapsed in the early hours of this morning.

The building, a twelve-story apartment block called Champlain Towers South (pictured), collapsed in the early hours of this morning.

The building was completed in 1981 and apartments in the block, some of which have ocean views sell for up to $915,000

The building was completed in 1981 and apartments in the block, some of which have ocean views sell for up to $915,000

Video from the scene showed firefighters pulling a young boy from the rubble. Witnesses also reported hearing screams from beneath the collapsed building

Video from the scene showed firefighters pulling a young boy from the rubble. Witnesses also reported hearing screams from beneath the collapsed building

Video from the scene showed firefighters pulling a young boy from the rubble. Witnesses also reported hearing screams from beneath the collapsed building 

There have been dozens of people impacted by the collapse, according to local media, but authorities have not yet confirmed any details of potential casualties.

Pictures and videos from the scene suggest a full section of the tower collapsed, which left huge piles of debris lying at the corner of Collins Avenue as a huge search-and-rescue operation is underway. 

Witnesses claimed to have heard people screaming beneath the rubble during frantic efforts to free them from the wreckage of the building. 

One witness told NBC News correspondent Sam Brock: ‘They are able to rescue some people but I heard some screams.’

Another witness Kimberly Morales, who lives across the street, told CNN she was woken up by alarms going off and people pounding on her door, as she didn’t hear the building collapse.

Morales, who is in a community center with other evacuees, continued:  ‘I told everyone to hurry up and leave the building.’

Pictures and videos from the scene suggest a full section of the tower collapsed (pictured), which left huge piles of debris lying at the corner of Collins Avenue

Pictures and videos from the scene suggest a full section of the tower collapsed (pictured), which left huge piles of debris lying at the corner of Collins Avenue

One woman has died and at least nine people are injured, including a firefighter, following the collapse just before 1.30am, according to local media reports. One person is said to be in critical condition. Pictured: The partially collapsed building

One woman has died and at least nine people are injured, including a firefighter, following the collapse just before 1.30am, according to local media reports. One person is said to be in critical condition. Pictured: The partially collapsed building

Witnesses claim to have heard people screaming beneath the rubble (pictured) during frantic efforts to free them from the wreckage of the building

Authorities have not yet provided any information on potential casualties as the situation is ongoing. Pictured: Rubble following the collapse

Witnesses claim to have heard people screaming beneath the rubble (left and right) during frantic efforts to free them from the wreckage of the building

A view inside one of the apartments at Champlain Towers South

A view inside one of the apartments at Champlain Towers South 

There have been dozens of people impacted by the collapse (pictured: the partially collapsed building), according to local media, but authorities have not yet confirmed any details of potential casualties

There have been dozens of people impacted by the collapse (pictured: the partially collapsed building), according to local media, but authorities have not yet confirmed any details of potential casualties

Witness Kimberly Morales, who lives across the street, told CNN she was woken up by alarms going off and people pounding on her door, as she didn't hear the building collapse. Pictured: A portion of the condo tower crumbled to the ground

Witness Kimberly Morales, who lives across the street, told CNN she was woken up by alarms going off and people pounding on her door, as she didn’t hear the building collapse. Pictured: A portion of the condo tower crumbled to the ground

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said more than 80 units were on the scene, including Technical Rescue Teams, which are ‘specially trained in the treatment and removal of victims trapped in complex or confined spaces’. 

Freelance journalist Joel Franco, who was on the scene, claimed that the fire department had managed to rescue some people from their balconies.

He tweeted: ‘MDFR [Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department] now rescuing people from the balcony.’ 

Mr Franco said the rescue operation was a ‘multi-agency effort’ as he claimed to have seen units from Pompano Beach Fire, Miami Fire, Davie Fire and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue at the scene. 

A statement from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue read: ‘We are on scene of a partial building collapse near 88 Street & Collins Avenue. 

‘Over 80 MDFR units, including Technical Rescue Teams, are on scene with assistance from municipal fire departments.’

A portion of the 12-story condo tower crumbled to the ground during a partial collapse of the apartment block. It is unknown at this time how many people were injured as search-and-rescue effort continues

A portion of the 12-story condo tower crumbled to the ground during a partial collapse of the apartment block. It is unknown at this time how many people were injured as search-and-rescue effort continues

Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96th Street and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue as authorities continue with the rescue operation (pictured)

Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96th Street and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue as authorities continue with the rescue operation (pictured)

Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96th Street and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue as authorities continue with the rescue operation (right), Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (left) confirmed

Freelance journalist Joel Franco, who was on the scene, claimed that the fire department had managed to rescue some people from their balconies. Pictured: Emergency personnel working at the scene

Freelance journalist Joel Franco, who was on the scene, claimed that the fire department had managed to rescue some people from their balconies. Pictured: Emergency personnel working at the scene

There are fears that many people may be dead or remain trapped beneath the rubble (pictured) at Champlain Towers South following the collapse

There are fears that many people may be dead or remain trapped beneath the rubble (pictured) at Champlain Towers South following the collapse

Shocking pictures and videos (above) show what appears to be huge piles of debris lying at the corner of Collins Avenue as fears

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue confirmed that more than 80 units (pictured), including Technical Rescue Teams, were on the scene

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue confirmed that more than 80 units (right), including Technical Rescue Teams, were at the scene of the collapse (left)

Emergency personnel from multiple fire departments and other agencies (pictured) were seen working at the scene of the partial building collapse in Miami Beach

Emergency personnel from multiple fire departments and other agencies (pictured) were seen working at the scene of the partial building collapse in Miami Beach

Rescue personnel work near where a portion of the 12-story condo tower crumbled to the ground during a partial collapse of the building in Surfside

Rescue personnel work near where a portion of the 12-story condo tower crumbled to the ground during a partial collapse of the building in Surfside

Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96th Street and northbound traffic is being diverted at 85th Street and Collins Avenue as authorities remain on the scene, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue confirmed. 

Authorities have not yet provided any information on potential casualties as the situation is ongoing. 

Miami Beach Police Department said: ‘MBPD and @MiamiBeachFire are assisting the Town of Surfside at a partial building collapse located at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida.

‘Multiple police and fire agencies from across Miami-Dade are assisting. Please follow @MiamiDadeFire for updated information.’ 

Champlain Towers South, which was built in 1981, is a modern apartment complex comprised of 136 residences – some of which have ocean views sell for up to $915,000 – across 12 floors, according to Miami Real Estate Trends.

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