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Death Toll Rises To 4 In The Florida Condo Collapse With Dozens Of People Missing

A rescue worker walks amid the rubble where a wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed on Thursday in Surfside, Fla.
Lynne Sladky
A rescue worker walks amid the rubble where a wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed on Thursday in Surfside, Fla.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 10:38 AM ET

At least four people are now confirmed dead and more than 150 others are unaccounted for after a 12-story condo building near Miami partially collapsed early Thursday.

"I woke up to learn that three bodies had been pulled from the rubble last night," Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told ABC on Friday, adding to the one fatality that was announced on Thursday. "Devastating news for families waiting for any hope of survival." The three have not been identified.

She said that more than 100 people have been accounted for from the tower in Surfside, Fla. Rescue workers are using sonar and sniffer dogs to search for survivors in the rubble.

Florida authorities have said part of the 12-story building involving some 55 units split apart and crumbled, and it's still not clear why. "I can tell you at this time they haven't found any evidence of foul play, so that is important for people to know," the mayor added. The police department plans a full investigation.

Fire crews were able to rescue 37 people on Thursday. Thirty-five of them were evacuated from balconies of the part of the building that was still standing. Families wait at a reunification center, eager for news of their missing relatives.

Surfside is a quiet beach town with a large Jewish community, some of whom lived in the tower that partially collapsed. Along with long-term residents, there were many visitors staying there temporarily for a beach vacation, including nationals of Venezuela and Argentina. The sister of Paraguay's first lady is reportedly among the missing.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and environmental stories. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.
Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.