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Dozens of people are missing when a building collapsed in Surfside, Florida; at least one person was killed.

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – After part of a condo tower in the Miami-area beachfront town fell early Thursday, emergency personnel combed amid twisted shards of metal, the dust of crushed concrete, and furniture bits for at least 99 individuals who are unaccounted for.

The cause of the 12-story, 40-year-old structure collapsing in a roar, killing at least one person and presumably many more, is unknown, according to local authorities. Once the rescue operations are completed, Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez III said his detectives, along with state and federal officials, will conduct an investigation into structural issues.

Before and After Collapsed

After 40 years, Florida buildings must be recertified for electrical and structural safety, and the building had started the process, according to Walter Keller, a civil engineer, and the town’s consultant planner. Buildings, according to neighbors, need to have their concrete façade reinforced on a regular basis to withstand the corrosive effects of seawater. According to court papers, at least one resident of the complex complained that the homeowners’ organization had failed to fix damages to cracked building walls. Building inspectors had recently examined the skyscraper, and work was being done on its roof, according to Surfside Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer.

Mr. Jadallah said that when rescue crews arrived around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, they discovered the northeast section of the 136-unit Champlain Towers South building had collapsed.

According to Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett, who spoke with building management, about 55 units were affected, and the building was nearly full of inhabitants.