New York Daily News: MANHATTAN – Crews digging through piles of debris from a collapsed apartment building in South Florida were seen pulling a boy from the rubble during a frantic effort to find survivors Thursday morning.
A dramatic video showed the moment firefighters freed the trapped teenager and carried him out on a stretcher. The unidentified boy appeared to be OK, but the extent of his injuries was not immediately known.
He was one of at least 35 survivors pulled from the Champlain Towers South Condo, a 12-story oceanfront building located in the Miami-area town of Surfside that crumbled around 2 a.m. The partial collapse killed at least one person and sent at least two to the hospital, authorities said.
The death toll was likely to climb as officials still try to determine how many people are missing.
“We are bracing for some bad news just given the destruction that we’re seeing,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference in Tampa.
The building had more than 130 apartments, more than 70 of which have been destroyed or damaged, authorities said. Mayor Charles Burkett said a building manager told him that the tower was substantially full when it came down.
“The building is literally pancaked,” Burkett told reporters.
There was no word on a possible cause for the tragedy. The mayor said work was being done on the roof of the tower, but he said the repairs did not appear to be linked to the collapse.
DeSantis thanked first responders for the massive rescue efforts at the scene.
“The quick response was very important and I do think it saved lives,” he said. “I want to thank the folks for their bravery in doing that.”
The condo development, built in 1981, had several two-bedroom units on the market, with asking prices of $600,000 to $700,000.