A Florida building collapse left more than a dozen condominiums destroyed in a blink of an eye in the early hours of Thursday night.

Rescue work continued all through the night to find survivors from the mammoth pile of concrete and twisted steels of the 12-story condominium debris. 

The residential tower in Surfside, Florida plundered down on the ground killing at least 1 person and so far 99 people are unaccounted, said the Miami-Dade Police department. According to the fire chief of Miami Dade Alam Cominsky, the rescue crews will continue to work through the night and well into Friday. After the deadly collapse, screaming residents were helped to flee the building whereas some were plucked out from the destroyed building using ladders.

Mayor Charles Burkett confirmed the death of one person but stated that he fears the death toll is most likely to rise in the Florida building collapse incident. As of late Thursday, 99 people were listed as unaccounted for but the authorities don’t have the exact figure about how many were in the tower at the time of the collapse.

Heartbroken mayor Burkett stated that “the building is pancaked”, which means that it is going to be a heart-breaking scene as the rescue authorities won’t be very successful in finding people alive from the debris.

The Champlain towers south were built in 1981 and contained more than 130 apartments. The reason for the collapse is still unknown as the investigation has begun but according to the report the roof work was ongoing at the building for about a month now. It is unclear if the roof work contributed to the collapse, but it cannot be denied. The roof work might have led to the catastrophic collapse.

Shimon Wdowinski, a Florida International University’s Institute of Environment professor stated that a study last year suggested that the Champlain towers were sinking into earth at an alarming speed since the 1990s. The subsidence rate of the condo building has been two millimeters per year. He said this can be a contributing factor to the collapse of the building.

Governor of Florida Ron deSantis declared a state of emergency and allowed all the necessary resources to be directed towards the affected area including the emergency personnel and other law enforcement agencies.

U.S Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz assured all the support to the tightly-knitted community of surfside and said the federal government stands with the community as “this is a tragedy without any precedent in the United States of America.”

The Surfside officials remain “hopeful”, they said they need to remain hopeful in rescuing more people from the rubble of the collapsed building but realistically there might not be any hope to retrieve anyone alive from that gruesome sight of debris.