Search and Rescue personnel work after the partial collapse of a building in Surfside, Florida. AFP
Gulf Today Report
In a horrifying incident, emergency authorities in Florida said that at least 99 people have been unaccounted for after a part of a building collapsed on Thursday.
With a loud roar, the 12-story beachfront building’s wing was reduced to dust near Miami Beach in seconds.
Over 100 firefighting and rescue units are searching through tonnes of rubble.
An ametuer video showed the a large portion of the building in the town of Surfside being reduced to rubble with residents in the area running for safety.
Some locals in the area went to the site to search for survivors.
Emergency services took precautionary measures and evacuated the rest of the apartment of the building and nearby houses as well.
The Mayor of Surfside Charles Burkett said the building partially collapsed at around 2 am local time (0600 GMT) for unknown reasons.
"It's hard to imagine how that happened... buildings don't just collapse like that," he said.
Surfside is about 24 km north of Miami on the Atlantic Ocean.
An investigation has been launched into the incident to unearth the cause of the collapse.
The local fire and rescue department said on Twitter that over 100 rescue units were deployed at the site of the accident.
Miami Beach Police shared a photo on Twitter showing debris, and large concrete slabs hanging from the rest of the building's balconies in the dark.
The ill-fated building was constructed in 1981.
The structure had 130 housing units.
Authorities told media that about 80 units were inhabited at the time of the accident.
Rescuers used both heavy equipment and their own hands to comb through the wreckage, toiled to locate and reach anyone still alive in the remains of the 12-story Champlain Towers South, on Friday in an increasingly desperate search for survivors.
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