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Miami Heat’s Tyler Herro, Chris Quinn and Eric Glass rush to the scene of Surfside building collapse


Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro and assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass lent a hand as they handed out supplies at the scene of a Surfside building collapse on Thursday.

Beachfront building Champlain Towers South came crashing down at around 1.30am on Thursday in Miami’s Surfside neighborhood, leaving piles of debris where the front of the 12-story apartment block had stood.

Only one woman has been confirmed dead but authorities have warned the death toll could climb sharply given there were 99 people still missing as of Thursday afternoon. It was unclear if any, or all of those people, were inside the building.

On Thursday afternoon, members of the NBA’s Miami Heat and Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins flocked to support their local community by handing out vital supplies at the scene of the collapse.

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (pictured) and assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass handed out supplies at the scene of a Surfside building collapse on Thursday

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (right) and assistant coaches Chris Quinn (left) and Eric Glass handed out supplies at the scene of a Surfside building collapse on Thursday

Twelve-story beachfront building Champlain Towers South (pictured) came crashing down at around 1.30am on Thursday in Miami's Surfside neighborhood

Twelve-story beachfront building Champlain Towers South (pictured) came crashing down at around 1.30am on Thursday in Miami’s Surfside neighborhood

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro was working out in the morning with assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass when they were told there was a pressing need for assistance at the scene.

Hero, 21, Quinn, 37, and Glass quickly left the team’s arena and made the short drive north to Surfside, Florida, where the beachfront condo building had collapsed.

The Heat trio helped to load a truck with water, food and other essentials and provided much-needed help and support at the scene.

‘This is 12 miles from our arena,’ Heat vice president and charitable fund executive director Steve Stowe told Associated Press. ‘We heard about this, and our immediate reaction was that we had to find a way to help.’

Herro also spoke to the first responders at the scene, who continue with their efforts to find any survivors amid the rubble, thanking them for their heroism and efforts.

‘I know it’s got to be hard on your guys as well, so I appreciate you guys coming out here and responding for us,’ he was heard saying in a video shared to Twitter by Will Manso, a WPLG Local 10 reporter.

Quinn (pictured), Herro and Glass helped load a truck with water, food and other essentials and were pictured at the scene unloading the van and providing the much-needed help

The Heat, through some of their corporate partners like World Central Kitchen and Direct Relief, also arranged for more help to arrive.

Food trucks provided hot meals and grab-and-go boxes to keep rescuers and other personnel at the scene fed, while the team also helped to find accommodation for those displaced by the collapse.

‘These are the moments when a community has to come together, rise up and help,’ Stowe said.

Meanwhile, Miami Marlins sent three vans filled with food and drink, toiletries and other essential items to the scene to help displaced residents and rescue workers.

The team tweeted: ‘In support of our community during today’s tragic event, we sent three vans filled with meals and water to the rescue workers and kits of essential items and toiletries to the residents who have been displaced and families who have been impacted.’

Police have opened an investigation into the Miami apartment building collapse that left one dead and 99 missing – as hundreds of rescue crews continue to scour through tons of rubble and desperate families wait for news of any survivors. 

Officially, only one woman has been confirmed dead after the Champlain Towers South beachfront building collapsed at about 1.30am on Thursday.

But authorities have warned the death toll could climb sharply given there were 99 people still missing as of Thursday afternoon.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an emergency declaration for Miami-Dade County late on Thursday that will provide assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to those dealing with the high-rise building collapse. 

Herro (pictured right) also spoke to the first responders at the scene, who continue with their efforts to find any survivors amid the rubble, thanking them for their heroism and efforts

Herro (pictured right) also spoke to the first responders at the scene, who continue with their efforts to find any survivors amid the rubble, thanking them for their heroism and efforts

The contents of condominiums spilled out onto the street in a horrific scene in the aftermath of the building's collapse in Miami. Search and rescue workers were on the job on 7pm to 7am shifts - and weren't expected to stop anytime soon

The contents of condominiums spilled out onto the street in a horrific scene in the aftermath of the building’s collapse in Miami. Search and rescue workers were on the job on 7pm to 7am shifts – and weren’t expected to stop anytime soon

The emergency declaration came after President Joe Biden said the agency had been sent to Florida and offered help from the federal government in recovering from the disaster.

In their final press conference of the night, officials said there has been ‘no change’ in the number of victims and rescues since earlier on Thursday but said that search and rescue operations will continue around the clock.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during the press conference: ‘The dogs are working on the garage, they’re working on the top so they are visible right now. They are proceeding with all of their might.’

‘They are so motivated to bring people out safely and restore them to our loved ones. As our day comes to an end, their day does not,’ she said.

Cava said later: ‘We are still in the investigative phase and we are not ruling out anything but there has been no evidence found of foul play.’

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz both spoke during the press conference addressing the tragedy. 

‘This is a tragedy without precedent in the United States of America. The devastation is the likes I had never seen and I have been to Haiti,’ Wasserman Schultz said. ‘This is an all of government, all-hands-on-deck approach. Now that the request of the governor has gone up and the state emergency declaration has been made, the White House has confirmed it will be granting all of the requests.’

She added that many of the residents of the building and people impacted by the collapse have ties to other countries in Latin America and Israel so officials are ‘working to get visas processed quickly to get their family members here.’

Rubio thanked Biden and White House officials for their quick response in offering federal aid to the Sunshine State on Thursday. 

‘I can’t imagine having someone that I love under the rubble, believing they are live and hoping for a miracle. All we can do is try to help people that are in that situation and get answers for the future as well so nothing like this happens again,’ Rubio said. 

Police have opened an investigation into the Miami apartment building collapse (pictured) that left one confirmed dead and 99 still missing as of Thursday afternoon

Police have opened an investigation into the Miami apartment building collapse (pictured) that left one confirmed dead and 99 still missing as of Thursday afternoon

 

Hundreds of rescue crews (pictured) continue to scour through tons of rubble and desperate families wait for news of any survivors amid fears of climbing death toll

Hundreds of rescue crews (pictured) continue to scour through tons of rubble and desperate families wait for news of any survivors amid fears of climbing death toll

He added: ‘I want to thank the White House and the president who was very forward leaning today in saying that these resources from the federal government would be made available.’

Miami Beach Fire Chief Richard Clements spoke with Anderson Cooper on CNN on Thursday night and said rescue workers are using dogs to search for victims as well as cameras to poke holes through concrete and to see around corners.

Clements said rescue workers occasionally stop operations to listen for voices among the rubble, telling CNN that there are definitely voids in the floors that collapsed.

‘We have identified voids and those are the areas we’re focusing our efforts,’ he said.

He said that search and rescue workers prepared throughout the day to continue searching for survivors after nightfall – which is typically a difficult time to find victims in emergency situations. Officials have been bringing in largescale lighting and ladder trucks that have powerful lights to aid in the search.

Horrifying surveillance footage, obtained by WSVN, captured the moment the building collapsed, sending a huge cloud of debris into the air and officials said the level of destruction made it seem like a ‘bomb went off’.    

On Thursday, rescue teams entered the rubble in groups of 10 to 12 at a time with dogs and other equipment as they trawl the wreckage for any survivors. Sources told NBC6 that search a dog had tracked two potential survivors as of Thursday afternoon.

Some signs of life have been reported from inside the rubble, although officials have yet to share further information on the hopeful discovery. They also face trying to free anyone who is still alive while avoiding making further rubble collapse on top of them.

Rescue teams rescued 35 people from the building and two people, including a young boy, were pulled from the rubble. Pictured: Rescue personnel with a K9 unit work in the rubble

Rescue teams rescued 35 people from the building and two people, including a young boy, were pulled from the rubble. Pictured: Rescue personnel with a K9 unit work in the rubble

Friends, family, and residents of the collapsed condo building in Miami Beach came together for information and donations at the family reunification center on Thursday

Friends, family, and residents of the collapsed condo building in Miami Beach came together for information and donations at the family reunification center on Thursday

Rescue teams are currently using machinery and dogs to help trawl the wreckage for any survivors. Authorities fear many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble

Rescue teams are currently using machinery and dogs to help trawl the wreckage for any survivors. Authorities fear many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble

Hundreds of distraught relatives gathered at a family reunification center holding photos of their loved ones as they awaited news.  

As the desperate search for survivors continued, police were already probing the cause of the collapse. 

Officials said the building, built in 1981, was going through a recertification process and that engineers had been hired to complete electrical and structural repairs.

Experts who had studied the building as recently as last year said the building was unstable and had been sinking since the 1990s.

Thirty-five people were rescued from the damaged building including a young boy, who was photographed being pulled from the rubble in the early stages of the rescue operation. Two of those people, including the woman who has since died, were taken to hospital. 

Authorities say many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble and warned the recovery efforts could last an entire week.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had earlier said rescue teams had made contact with some survivors but did not elaborate on where they were located or if they had been rescued. 

‘Right now, we have the fire rescue. They are in search and rescue mode. They are trying to identify survivors, I know they have made contact with some, and I know they are doing everything they can to save lives,’ he said. 

DeSantis and other authorities said earlier that they were bracing for bad news in terms of survivors given the level of destruction.  

‘The building has literally pancaked,’ Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. ‘That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we are going to be as successful as we wanted to be in finding people alive.’ 

Experts who had studied the building (pictured after collapse on Thursday) as recently as last year said the building was unstable and had been sinking since the 1990s

Experts who had studied the building (pictured after collapse on Thursday) as recently as last year said the building was unstable and had been sinking since the 1990s 

Hundreds of distraught relatives gathered at a family reunification center holding photos of their loved ones as they awaited news

Hundreds of distraught relatives gathered at a family reunification center holding photos of their loved ones as they awaited news

Mayor Burkett said at least 15 families were being relocated to hotels.

The tower, which is located a few hundred feet away from where Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump currently live, has a mix of seasonal and year-round residents. Mayor Burkett said the building keeps a log of guests staying but does not keep track of when owners are in residence. 

The president of Paraguay’s sister-in-law and her family, as well as a celebrity plastic surgeon from Argentina are among those still missing. 

Sophia López Moreira, her husband Luis Pettengill and their three young children are still missing, Paraguay’s foreign ministry confirmed.

Moreira is the sister of President Mario Abdo Benítez’s wife Silvana. The family owned a condo in the building.  

Also missing is a famed Argentinian plastic surgeon, his partner, and their newly-adopted six year-old daughter.

That surgeon – Andres Galfrasconi, 45 – was visiting Miami with his partner Fabian Nunez, 55, and their daughter Sofia, six, to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.





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