The sea-view side of a beachfront condo tower collapsed in the Miami-area town of Surfside early Thursday, drawing a massing response from emergency services.
Miami Dade Fire Rescue was conducting search and rescue operations, and said in a tweet that more than 80 units were “on scene with assistance from municipal fire departments.”
Authorities had no word yet on casualties or details of how many people lived in the building.
“We’re on the scene so it’s still very active,” said Sgt. Marian Cruz of the Surfside Police Department. “What I can tell you is the building is twelve floors. The entire back side of the building has collapsed.”
Police blocked nearby roads, and scores of fire and rescue vehicles, ambulances and police cars swarmed the area.
The collapse sent a cloud of debris through the neighborhood, coating cars up to two blocks away with a light layer of dust.
Photos and video from the scene show the collapse affected half the tower. Piles of rubble and debris surrounded the area just outside the building. The department has yet to say what may have caused the collapse near 88th Street and Collins Avenue.
The building address is 8777 Collins Avenue, according to Surfside police. The sea-view condo development was built in 1981 in the southeast corner of Surfside, on the beach. It had a few two-bedroom units currently on the market, with asking prices of $600,000 to $700,000, an internet search shows.
The area is a mix of new and old apartments, houses, condominiums and hotels, with restaurants and stores serving an international combination of residents and tourists. The community provides a stark contrast from bustle and glitz of South Beach with a slower paced neighborhood feel.