During the early morning hours of Thursday, June 24, a large 12-story condominium in Surfside, Florida — a town near Miami — partially collapsed. First responders flooded the scene in search of survivors and people who are missing amid the wreckage.

As of yet, one person has died and 51 other people’s whereabouts remain unaccounted for; although, these numbers are subject to change as emergency personnel and rescuers continue to comb the scene.

Sudden Building Collapse

The fire department of Miami-Dade County has said that it currently has more than 80 of its own units on scene. Smaller municipal fire departments are also assisting Miami-Dade in handling the disaster.

Sgt. Marian Cruz of the Surfside Police Department also had this to say: “We’re on the scene, so it’s still very active.

What I can tell you is the building is twelve floors. The entire back side of the building has collapsed.”

Since the partially collapsed building is located on the intersection 88th St. and Collins Ave. in Surfside, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has also announced that northbound traffic to the area has been diverted at 85th St. and Collins Ave. and that southbound traffic has been diverted west on 96th St.

The back half of the condominium tower has totally collapsed. While the rest of the building remains standing, there is an enormous amount of rubble, and clouds of dust have been expelled into the air upon collapse.

As one witness put it, “I was able to see probably a third, if not half of the building, literally collapse. I just can’t put it into words.”

“It looks like a bomb hit. It looks like one of these ‘Third World’ countries that just literally collapsed, like a pancake, straight down, and there’s just an incredible pile of rubble.”

As of yet, the cause of the collapse remains unknown.