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'It's A Terrible, Terrible Nightmare': At Least 51 Missing After Horrific Building Collapse At Condo In Surfside, Florida

Jun. 24 2021, Published 4:33 p.m. ET

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Horror struck the residents of a sleepy condo building in Surfside, Florida on Thursday morning.

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According to PEOPLE, the previous vice-mayor of the city, Barry Cohen, and his wife were quite literally shaken awake from their home on the third floor by the shuddering building and a sound that he described as "a bang that just kept on going."

surfside miami apt building collpases
Source: MEGA
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Despite their desperate attempts to escape, the stairs and doorways needed to leave the building were blocked. They were unable to get out of the collapsing condo until rescue arrived. Thankfully, Cohen, his wife, and other neighbors were able to be saved, plucked from their balconies by fire rescue teams, but not everyone in the building was as lucky.

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surfside miami apt building collpases gallery pic
Source: MEGA

Rachel Johnson, the communications director to the Surfside mayor commented on the many residents of the condo that have yet to be accounted for saying, "We don't have an official count."

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While the outlet stated that 51 residents were still missing, other sources say anywhere from 50 to upwards of 99 people could still be in building.

Meanwhile, the Surfside Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer noted that while rescue teams have dogs assisting in the search amongst the rubble of the once proud building, "They aren’t turning up very much. No one is celebrating anyone being pulled out."

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surfside miami apt building collpases gallery
Source: MEGA
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According to the Miami Herald, the condo was undergoing renovations to the roof as well as safety recertification at the time of its collapse, but nothing had been said outright to the residents to imply that the integrity of the structure was seriously in question.

"The residents that I talked to were not aware that there was some kind of problem or issue that would cause something like this," Salzhauer said in regards to the recertification and renovations.

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miami towers collapse gallery pic
Source: MEGA

In addition to thanking the first responders currently assisting in search and rescue attempts, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis assured the public watching on television that the damage is considerably worse in person. "It is really, really traumatic to see the collapse of a massive structure like that."

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