99 still missing after Surfside building collapse

Chaplain Towers building after collapse
Chaplain Towers building after collapse
Fernando Medina via Shutterstock

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters “we’re bracing for bad news” after one wing of a 12-story building collapsed early Thursday morning in Surfside, Fla.

After about five hours of searching, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman reported crews transitioned to recovery efforts, which could take a week.

How many people were in the building? Rescuers found at least one person who died and pulled 35 survivors from the rubble. As of late Thursday, 99 people were unaccounted for, including at least eight Argentines, six Paraguayans, and four Venezuelans.

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Officials do not know what caused the collapse, but a researcher at Florida International University told USA Today the building has been slowly sinking into the ground since the 1990s. The facility was built in 1981.

Neighbors said most of the residents were families, professionals, and retirees.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

People pray on the beach near the Chaplain Towers collapse

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