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 Adetunji Faleye with Agency report

No fewer than four people have died and 11 sustaining various degrees of injuries following a building collapse in Miami Florida in the United States.

Also about 159 people have not been accounted after the high-rise condo building partially collapsed.

Rescuers continued to search through the debris of the 12-story building in Surfside, a town in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, for any survivors Friday morning and were not giving up, officials said.

Raide Jadallah, the assistant chief of operations for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said that of the building’s 136 units, 55 in the northeast corridor collapsed about 1:30 a.m.

Thirty-five people were pulled from the collapsed part of the building, and two people had been pulled out of the rubble as of Thursday afternoon, Jadallah said.

There were 120 people accounted for from the building and 159 people unaccounted for, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters Friday morning.

In an interview Friday with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the mayor said the death toll had grown from one to four.

“Tragically, I woke up to learn that three bodies had been pulled from the rubble last night,” she said. “Devastating news for families waiting for any hope of survival. And of course, we’re going to continue to search. Those three people have not been identified at this time. It does bring our count to four of those who’ve lost their lives in this tragedy.”

Rescuers with sonar equipment were carefully navigating the collapse in hopes of finding more people.

“It is a very slow and methodical process because every time we start breaching parts of the structure, we get debris that falls on us,” said Jadallah, adding that a small fire sparked by the moving rubble had to be put out.

Rescuers are keeping their ears open for any sounds, even if not voices.

“We did receive sounds, not necessarily people talking, but sounds … of a possibility of a banging,” Jadallah said late Thursday afternoon. “Short of that we haven’t heard any voices coming from the pile.”

Euclides Acevedo, Paraguay’s foreign minister, said in interviews Thursday that members of President Mario Abdo Benítez’s family were among the missing. They were identified as Sophia López Moreira, the sister of first lady Silvana López Moreira, and her husband, Luis Pettengill. Their three children and Lady Luna Villalba, a worker accompanying the family, were also missing, Acevedo said.


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