Condo collapse live updates: 159 people are missing, here are some being looked for

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·10 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Rescue crews are continuing to search through the rubble for survivors after a 12-story oceanfront condo tower partially collapsed in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach. The portion of Champlain Towers South that crumbled faces the ocean.

People who have loved ones at the condo, unaccounted for or safe, should call 305-614-1819 to notify officials. Anyone who lives at the Champlain Towers and is safe is asked to complete a Wellness Check form to help the Miami-Dade County keep track of tenants.

Here’s what we know so far:

Miami Herald creates searchable database of people reported missing in collapse

10 p.m.: There are still 159 people missing after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condo.

The Miami Herald has created a searchable database which supplies names, pictures and known information about those missing. You can find the database here.

Miami-Dade County, local organizations work to house those displaced by condo collapse

8 p.m.: Many families have been left homeless and in need of assistance in the wake of the partial condo collapse.

The American Red Cross provided emergency hotel lodging Thursday night for residents and will continue to for the next several days. On Friday, Red Cross-trained caseworkers also began meeting with families to help them plan next steps and provide financial assistance.

Miami-Dade County spokeswoman Rachel Johnson said everyone who told officials they were homeless due to the collapse were placed in hotels. The group included those who lived at Champlain Towers South Condo or those evacuated from nearby buildings.

Other organizations, including the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army and Florida Blue have also been offering families aid.

Florida is also in talks with Airbnb’s nonprofit wing, Airbnb.org, which helps provide free temporary housing during emergencies.

Read more here.

There are 159 people missing. Here is a list of someone of the people being looked for.

5 p.m.: As the second day of rescue efforts continue at the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building, lists grow with who is missing and possibly in the rubble.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday that 159 people are missing, based on data collected at the reunification site at the Surfside Community Center and missing person reports. 120 people have been accounted for, she said.

People with missing loved ones should call the family reunification hotline at 305-614-1819, visit the family reunification center at 9301 Collins Ave. or open a missing person report online. Those who survived the collapse should fill out a wellness check form online.

The Miami Herald is gathering the names and stories of those who have been reported missing after the building collapse. Read here to see an updating list. Please send information to jchrissos@miamiherald.com or areyes@miamiherald.com.

First Surfside condo collapse victim identified as mother of rescued boy

2 p.m.: Stacie Fang, whose son was dramatically rescued from the rubble after the Surfside condominium collapse, is the first victim to be identified by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office.

Fang was taken to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, but died.

Read the full story here.

Surfside family reunification center moving

1:53 p.m.: The family reunification center that was set up at Surfside Community Center, 9301 Collins Ave., a few blocks north of the rubble, has relocated to a new location.

The center was moved slightly more north to Grand Beach Hotel, 9449 Collins Ave, in Surfside.

Buses to take families to the new location were seen at the community center around 1:30 p.m.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Fire rescue crews using heavy machinery to lift debris

Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue crews uses heavy machinery early Friday morning as they work on the piles of rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo, located at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside, that collapsed Thursday morning, on Friday, June 25, 2021.
Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue crews uses heavy machinery early Friday morning as they work on the piles of rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo, located at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside, that collapsed Thursday morning, on Friday, June 25, 2021.

1:10 p.m.: Crews were seen using heavy machinery Friday afternoon to carefully lift and move around debris to help rescuers access different areas of the rubble. Earlier Friday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced that at least four people were confirmed dead and 159 people were missing. She also said 120 people were accounted for.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Survivors recount harrowing escape from collapsed condo

1 p.m.: Alfredo and Marian Lopez were sound asleep around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when they heard the first boom, like a crash of thunder from a Florida squall. Only louder.

“I woke up and thought we’re just having a bad thunderstorm,” Alfredo, 61, later told the Miami Herald. The noise jolted him from sleep in his sixth-floor apartment at the northwest corner of Champlain Towers South in Surfside.

So did Bruno Treptow, 62, who was sleeping in his unit exactly two floors above, in the same corner of the 40-year-old, 12-story condo tower.

“Did lightning just hit the building?” Treptow wondered. Then the lights went out.

The second boom shook the Lopezes’ bed. Their whole sixth-floor apartment rattled. Treptow’s floor moved beneath him. The chandelier in Sharon Schechter’s 11th-floor unit swayed.

What was left of the building trembled.

Read the full story here.

From left to right, Fayzah Bushnaq, Maria Fernanda Martinez and Mariana Cordeiro comfort each other next to the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Florida, Friday, June 25, 2021. The apartment building partially collapsed on Thursday, June 24.
From left to right, Fayzah Bushnaq, Maria Fernanda Martinez and Mariana Cordeiro comfort each other next to the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Florida, Friday, June 25, 2021. The apartment building partially collapsed on Thursday, June 24.

How will showers and thunderstorms affect searching at the Surfside building collapse?

12:30 p.m.: Rain began falling Friday morning as crews continued to search through the rubble for people in the partially collapsed condo tower in Surfside. The forecast is calling for more downpours in South Florida.

The National Weather Service says there’s a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms in Surfside and Miami Beach through the early afternoon. The rain chance then drops to 20% to 30% for Friday night, but it will pick up again for the weekend.

While rescue crews can work through the rain, they can’t work through lightning for safety reasons.

Read the full story here.

Former Beach elementary PE teacher, wife among Surfside missing

10:20 a.m.: Asleep in her bed at 6 a.m. Thursday, North Miami Beach Commissioner Fortuna Smukler’s husband awakened her and told her about the Surfside condo tower collapse. A little later, she found out the parents of her childhood friends were missing in the rubble.

Smukler, who grew up with the three daughters of Myriam Caspi Notkin, 81, and her husband and their stepdad Arnold “Arnie” Notkin, 87, attended grade school in Miami Beach with the girls about 50 years ago.

Myriam Caspi Notkin and Arnold “Arnie” Notkin, who are among the missing in the collapse Thursday morning of the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside.
Myriam Caspi Notkin and Arnold “Arnie” Notkin, who are among the missing in the collapse Thursday morning of the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside.

Smukler said Arnie was beloved in the Miami Beach community, going back to when he was a physical education teacher at Leroy D. Fienberg Elementary School in South Beach in the 1960s.

Smukler said she talked to the daughters, who were devastated.

“At this point it would be a miracle ... we’re hoping for a miracle,” she said.

Read the full story here.

Democratic candidate for Governor Nikki Fried stops at Surfside

9:37 a.m.: Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic candidate for Governor Nikki Fried visited Surfside late Thursday night. She was in South Florida Thursday to meet with families of gun violence victims and later attend a campaign fundraiser in Pompano Beach.

Photos posted on Twitter Friday showed Fried embracing Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and looking out over the rubble from a nearby pool deck.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

“What I saw on the scene was heartbreaking — the destruction is catastrophic,” Fried told the Miami Herald in a statement. “First responders had been onsite all day and continued working through the night, risking their lives to search through unstable wreckage for any signs of life. The community is coming together to provide support for the victims and those that are still missing, everyone is unified in their desire to help people through this tragedy.”

- Samantha Gross

Crews working the search-and-rescue operation after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside on Thursday June 24th., 2021.
Crews working the search-and-rescue operation after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside on Thursday June 24th., 2021.

Miami-Dade mayor gives updates on how many people found, missing

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

8:34 a.m.: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday morning that the number of people who are unaccounted for in Thursday’s building collapse in Surfside rose to 159, while the death toll rose to four.

She said 120 people are now accounted for but stressed that all the numbers are “fluid.”

“Unfortunately this has been a tragic night,” she said.

Read the full story here.

Death toll update

7:30 a.m.: The arduous and heartbreaking task of recovering the bodies of victims at the site of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo began overnight and continued into a somber Friday morning in Surfside.

Shortly before 7:45 Friday morning, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said authorities have now confirmed four deaths.

No additional survivors had been found since Thursday morning.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Key facts

6:42 a.m.: Here’s what you need to know Friday morning:

It is a search-and-rescue mission.

The Champlain Towers South Condo building partially collapsed at 1:23 a.m. Thursday. The disaster occurred while most who live in the building were in bed. The side of the building that collapsed faces the beach.

Officials confirmed at least one death, and said 35 survivors were pulled from the wreckage, with 10 injured people treated at the scene and at least two taken to a hospital.

It will likely be months or even years before engineers and other experts know exactly why a part of the Champlain Towers South came crashing down.

The American Red Cross, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Catholic Charities and Florida Blue are at at the Surfside Community Center, which is serving as a family reunification center, to provide aid and support to families.

At least 27 people from Latin American nations — including Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and Argentina — are among those reported missing by friends and family following the collapse, highlighting the international reach of the tragedy in a region that serves as a link between the United States and Latin America.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Miami-Dade County, enabling federal rescue, housing and financial assistance. In Washington, President Joe Biden authorized FEMA to provide federal support.

Miami Beach state Sen. Jason Pizzo was at the scene early Friday morning, where he watched as tactical teams of six worked to pull bodies from the rubble.
Miami Beach state Sen. Jason Pizzo was at the scene early Friday morning, where he watched as tactical teams of six worked to pull bodies from the rubble.

A grim scene

12:24 a.m.: Miami Beach state Sen. Jason Pizzo was at the scene early Friday morning, where he watched as tactical teams of six worked to pull bodies from the rubble.

He saw one body taken in a yellow body bag and another that was marked.

A homicide unit tent was set up along the beach, Pizzo said, and staff under Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Dr. Emma Lew were carrying the yellow bags.

In Washington, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration in Florida, clearing the way for federal assistance.

“The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts,” according to a White House statement early Friday.

Families await DNA swab results to help in identifications

12:01 a.m.: Dozens of families were staying put at the family reunification center, as the clock neared the first 24 hours since the building collapse, when a gust of wind and rain forced people seated outside the center to take refuge under the building’s central walkway.

Close to midnight, it was a soggy scene. Some relatives of the victims, who had been there since the morning, were awaiting results to DNA swabs that would help identify their loved ones. Volunteers continued to bring in vegetables in sloppy, wet boxes, and others offered T-shirts, towels and blankets.

Nearby, at the scene of the collapse on 88th Street, rescuers were still searching through the rubble around midnight. Local 10 cameras captured as one body wrapped in a yellow bag was brought out of the debris.

After the rain subsided, dust and smoke from the ongoing work on the partially destroyed structure had not settled.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting