Florida mayor says the collapsed 12-story condo ‘literally pancaked,’ making hopes of finding survivors slim

Rubble hangs from a partially collapsed building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.
Rubble hangs from a partially collapsed building in Surfside, Florida, north of Miami Beach, on Thursday. Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty Images
  • A Florida mayor said the condo building that collapsed early Thursday “literally pancaked.”
  • Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he didn’t think many people would be rescued alive.
  • At least one person died in the collapse.
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The high-rise condo building that partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, early on Thursday, leaving at least one person dead, “literally pancaked,” the town’s mayor said.

“The problem is the building has literally pancaked,” Mayor Charles Burkett said of the 12-story oceanfront Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, near Miami Beach.

“There’s just feet in between stories where there were 3.05m,” Burkett told reporters. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we’re going to be successful, as successful as we want to be to find people alive.”

A wing of the roughly 130-unit building collapsed at about 1 a.m. About half of the building’s apartments collapsed, authorities said.

Burkett said 10 people had been treated for injuries, two of those people had been taken to the hospital, and one of them had died. As of 2 p.m., 99 people remained unaccounted for, authorities said.