Rescuers were desperately trying to get to a trapped child who was discovered by a rescue dog out of the garage at the Champlain Towers shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday.
The searchers believe the child’s parents may have been killed by the surrounding rubble, said Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management.
“It’s bad,” he said.
In an early rescue, Rollason said crews saved a mother and her child, but the mother’s leg had to be amputated to get her out of the shifting rubble.
“We got some people out. They had to cut away railings,” he said.
Rollason said by just after 8 a.m. emergency workers believe they have cleared everyone alive from inside the tower, which has more than 130 apartments. He said more than 70 of them have been destroyed or damaged.
Still, workers haven’t yet been able to determine the stability of the collapsed structure, so they haven’t yet begun to remove the pile of rubble that remains attached to the building.
“Everyone who is alive is out of the building,” he said.
Rollason said the building to the south, which is newer than the collapsed structure, is far enough away that it appears to be fine for now. The building to the north, he said, is older and has been evacuated. Engineers have been called to that site to inspect the building.