By Peter D'Oench


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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – One person was hurt when a building collapsed in Miami Beach just after 10 a.m. Monday morning.

The former Marlborough House Condominium, a 13-story building, at 5775 Collins Avenue, was in the process of being demolished when it suddenly came tumbling down.

WATCH THE COLLAPSE AS IT HAPPENED IN VIDEO PROVIDED BY CBS4 NEWS VIEWER HERE

 

A construction worker, identified as Samuel Landis, 42, was struck by a boulder and was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.

“The building was falling, I could see smoke coming towards us and a boulder the size of the front end of a car flew across the street. The boulder hit him in the center of the chest and threw him five feet,” said neighbor Rodolfo Pages.

“It’s truly fortunate no one else was hurt,” he added.

Video from a nearby construction company captured the collapse of the building.

Pages said residents were warned to watch out.

“The only time they said something to us was when they said put something over your nose to avoid debris and smoke,” Pages said. “The building collapsed towards Collins Avenue and debris started flying towards us.”

Security guard Rocio Urrutia showed us this video from her iPhone of the collapse of the building.

“I was scared. I saw people running and covering their faces,” Urrutia said.

“This was scary. This was scary. This was not normal. You don’t see this every day,” she added.

Dozens of police officers and firefighter paramedics rushed to the scene —- sealing off all traffic initially between 41st and 63rd Streets —fearing the situation could be much worse.

A police search dog scoured the debris for signs of life or other victims but did not find any.

“The construction company did a roll call and found that everyone was accounted for,” said Chief Virgil Fernandez, Miami Beach Fire Rescue.

Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates said sections of Collins were being reopened to help residents.

“We are doing our best to reopen traffic in one direction,” Oates said.

“I never thought my life was in danger but when I saw the boulder hit that guy I started running away,” he added.

Police and fire rescue have been conducting safety searches.

They say it appears nearby buildings were not impacted.

The company had a permit for the demolition but did not have a permit for an implosion, according to the Miami Beach police.

Ana Salgueiro, director of the city’s building department, said they had tried to ask for a permit to be imploded and they were denied. They had a standard permit to demolition.

The demolition was scheduled to begin Monday as they dismantled the building piece by piece.

Peter D'Oench

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