MIAMI (CBSMiami)- Miami-Dade residents awoke to shocking news Thursday morning as the Chaplain Towers South in Surfside partially collapsed trapping some of the residents in the rubble of the building. Fire rescue units and technical rescue teams from Miami-Dade and Broward responded to the collapse and could be seen working to rescue some of the trapped residents. Among those that the teams pulled from the rubble was a young boy.
Rescuers could be seen picking up the young boy out of the rubble and placing him onto a backboard, though he seemed to be capable of moving. He was one of 35 occupants that were pulled from the building on Thursday morning.READ MORE: Cleveland Clinic Weston Once Again #1 Hospital In Miami-Fort Lauderdale Metro Area
Assistant fire chief of operations for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Raide Jadallah had this to say during a press conference Thursday morning:
“Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, at approximately 1:30 this morning, responded to a reported building collapse. To summarize, we have a 12 storey, 136 unit apartment complex that had sustained a partial collapse. The North-East corridor of the apartment had collapsed. Approximately 55 apartment units, search and rescue efforts pulled 35 occupants that were trapped inside the building. In addition to those 35, 10 were assessed and treated. Two were transported to various hospitals,” Jadallah said. “Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing. We do have operations being conducted inside.”
Assistant chief Jadallah suggested that anyone who has loved ones who are not answering calls to contact the family reunification center at 305-614-1819.READ MORE: Calls Continue For Cuban Embassy In DC To Be Shut Down
Nicholas Balboa was in the area when the collapse happened.
“I was awake and on the corner when the building dropped into a plume of dust and debris kind of pushed out. I was down the street, I started to walk down, there were some other bystanders who called 911 and emergency vehicles were responding,” he said.
“I was able to hear a boy that was pulled from the rubble yelling. As I got closer, I was able to see his hand sticking through the rubble waving. As he was yelling, I responded to him. I began to climb the debris to try and get to him. I used the light on my phone to signal firefighters to come over. A police officer came over and he radioed for fire rescue to come over,” he added.
Balboa said the boy had been trapped with his mother, but he didn’t see her.MORE NEWS: Florida Argues CDC Violated Cruise Case Injunction
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Thursday morning that he had spoken with both of the local mayors and that the state will help in “any way that we can“.