One dead after Florida apartment block partially collapses

Multi-story building partially collapses near Miami Beach authorities say

Rescuers are combing the rubble, searching for any trapped survivors, and were seen pulling a boy out alive.

The side of a beachfront block of flats collapsed in the Miami on Thursday morning, killing at least one, trapping residents in rubble and twisted metal and sending a cloud of debris throughout the neighbourhood.

While there were no official confirmations of death or injury so far, ABC News said eight people had been hospitalized and CBS reported that at least one person has died.

The collapse is said to have occurred at about 02:00 (06:00 GMT).

"Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is on scene of a partial building collapse near 88 Street & Collins Avenue", the department said.

Dozens of people were evacuated from the building and from a nearby hotel, but it was not known how many more casualties there could be as the search and rescue operation was still continuing, officials said.

First responders arrived shortly after 1:30 a.m. and eventually pulled 35 occupants from the building, Jadallah said, and two more from the rubble.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said during an earlier news conference that the building manager believed the building had high occupancy.

Officials haven't yet said what may have caused the collapse. "We are bracing for some bad news just given the destruction that we're seeing", he warned, saying he thought the quick response from the emergency services had saved lives.

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About half of the building's 130 units collapsed, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told a news conference.

The Champlain Towers South condominium is located in the small, beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach.

An evacuation is also underway for the remaining residents still inside.

One man who was out with his brothers walking their dog described hearing the building come down.

A survivor said she escaped from the 9th floor and that the collapse sounded like an natural disaster.

Burkett said that the city and the Red Cross are looking into housing options for those displaced from the building.

A man who witnessed the aftermath of the collapse told CNN, "It looked like something from 9/11", referring to the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers in NY in 2001.

Santo Mejil, 50, told the Miami Herald that his wife called him from the building, where she was working as an aide for an elderly woman. "It felt like an natural disaster", Mr Mejil told the newspaper.

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