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4 Dead, 159 Unaccounted for, Search and Rescue Underway After Partial Collapse of Surfside Condo Building

Miami, FL June 2021 – Rescuers and volunteers continued their frantic search throughout the night for any survivors in the partial collapse of a 12-story condominium building in Surfside that killed at least four people and trapped others in the rubble.

Four people have been reported dead and 159 people are unaccounted for, says Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who announced the rising death toll Friday morning.

The collapse on Thursday morning sent a cloud of debris through the neighborhood, coating cars up to two blocks away with a light layer of dust. Footage from the scene showed a large section of the sea-view side of the building collapsed into a pile of rubble.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett warned during a news conference that the building manager told him the tower was quite full and the death toll was likely to rise. He also said the building could be in danger of additional collapse.

“The building is literally pancaked, it has gone down, and I mean there’s just feet in between stories where there were 10 feet,” Burkett said. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we’re gonna be as successful as we would want to be to find people alive.”

There has been no specific news as of this writing pointing to how this tragic accident occured, but according to other news sources, the manager of the condo community has been a party in a lawsuit dating back to 2015.

In 2015, a lawsuit was filed for damages in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, saying the building’s owners “failed to repair or negligently repaired the common elements and the outside walls of the building.”

The year before, water had started coming in through cracks in the outer wall to the plaintiff’s terrace, causing damage, the complaint said. The filing said she had previously taken the same issue to court, where the building’s owners were found liable.

“This appears to be a potential case of premises liability”, says Florida personal injury lawyer Marcus Viles, a partner in Viles & Beckman, “especially considering the past lawsuit and other factors that are currently surfacing since the incident.”

The personal injury attorneys at Viles & Beckman are calling on those injured and family and friends of loved ones to contact the law office of Viles & Beckman to discuss what they may be entitled to as part of a class action lawsuit.