Photos: Miami condo tower collapses; almost 100 people missing

A wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed in a town outside Miami early Thursday, killing at least one person while trapping residents in rubble and twisted metal. Rescuers pulled dozens of survivors from the tower and continued to look for more.

Nearly 100 people were still unaccounted for at midday, authorities said, raising fears that the death toll could climb sharply. But officials did not know how many were in the tower when it fell around 1:30 a.m.

“The building is 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.”

Surfside, a town of about 5,700, lies north of Miami Beach, across Biscayne Bay from Miami’s northern suburbs.

Firefighters rescue a survivor from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo after the multistory building partially collapsed in Surfside, Fla.

(ReliableNewsMedia)

Shredded walls and wires hang beside a bunk bed and an office chair.

Wreckage hangs from a partially collapsed building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.

(Chandan Khanna / AFP )

On the sand, with waves lapping in the background, a woman holds another woman, who leans into her shoulder.

People console each other near the site of the building collapse.

(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Two men stand together, one looking at his cellphone and another sobbing.

A man reacts as he waits for information on the condo collapse, with dozens of people unaccounted for.

(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Multiple stories are shown with bent balconies, shredded walls and flooring hanging in midair.

Part of the condo building remained standing after the early-morning collapse.

(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Children and adults stand on the sand, some recording with cellphones. One man points as his family gazes upward.

People were drawn to the sand outside Champlain Towers South after the tragedy.

(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

A drone flies near damaged balconies.

A drone inspects damage on the partially collapsed building in Surfside, Fla.

(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Rubble hangs from several flows of exposed residences.

After the wing of the building collapsed, people were trapped in the wreckage where it “literally pancaked,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett.

(Chandan Khanna / AFP )

Standing outside the building, a woman holds a picture of another woman.

Luz Marina holds a picture of her aunt Marina Azen, who she said was missing.

(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

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A woman and man hug each other.

Family members and residents of the Champlain Towers South greet each other outside the Town of Surfside Community Center.

(Chandan Khanna / AFP )

More visual journalism from the photography staff of the Los Angeles Times