Nearly 160 missing and four confirmed dead after Miami Beach building collapse

Four people have been confirmed dead in the Miami Beach-area condo building collapse and the number of people missing has risen to 159.

In a press conference on Friday morning, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, ‘Unfortunately, this has been a tragic night’. 

‘We do have 120 people now accounted for, which is very, very good news,’ Cava said. ‘But our unaccounted for number has gone up to 159. In addition, we can tragically report the death count is now four.’

Three bodies were pulled from the Champlain Towers South overnight, Cava said on ABC’s Good Morning America. On Thursday after the partial collapse of the Surfside condo around 1.30am, one person was confirmed dead.

‘Tragically, I woke up to learn that three bodies had been pulled from the wreckage overnight,’ Cava said.

The number of people unaccounted for is up from last night’s last count of at least 99.

Cava said it was ‘devastating news for families waiting for any hope for survival’ but said she is ‘very hopeful’ there are people who may still be saved. The mayor added that the number of people accounted for ‘is way up from the original count so we are very, very grateful’.

The figures may continue to change and heavy machinery was used in the rescue efforts, Cava said.

‘I want to be very clear about the numbers. They are very fluid. We’ll continue to update you as we have them,’ she said. ‘The search and rescue team worked throughout the night, and it was a very active scene.’

On Friday morning, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said that all search and rescue efforts shifted to the rubble. 

‘The entire building, the portion that’s still standing, was cleared by rescue crews,’ Jadallah said. ‘So at this point now, all resources have been shifted to the rubble, including from above and from below.’

Crews heard noises and sounds from under the rubble throughout the night, Jadallah said.

‘We are listening for sounds, it’s not specifically, you know human sounds, it could be… not necessarily tapping, it could be steel… it could be some of the debris kind of raining down,’ he said.