97 people dead after Surfside Building Collapse

An overview

Champlain Towers South, a condo building located in Surfside, Fla., collapsed on Thursday June 24. First responders arrived at the scene and confirmed that half of the building had toppled, with more than 150 people missing in the rubble. As of July 23rd, [97] people have died and one person is still missing.


As residents stuck on their condo balconies were rescued by first responders on balconies, residents in the north tower were evacuated following concerns for the building’s stability. Engineers eventually deemed stable but many residents wouldn’t move back in and are being given housing assistance along with those who were in the south tower. 

On July 1, a small fire in the debris and concerns for the remaining tower section’s stability halted rescue efforts temporarily. The remaining portions of the tower were demolished before tropical storm Elsa arrived. On the Fourth of July, the demolition occurred even as recovery efforts continued.


The south tower, constructed in 1981, has a history of structural problems. In 2018 a report was made stating that concrete in the underground garage and under the pool contained cracks significantly and repair was needed. In April, as damage worsened, the president of the Champlain Towers association had sent a letter to residents explaining the damage found and the necessary repairs. However, despite the concerns about the concrete in the pool deck and parking garage, there was no concern expressed by engineers that the building was unstable. 


On Thursday July 1, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited the collapse site to support the families of victims. Across Miami, many memorials have been erected and Fourth of July parades were canceled out of respect to families. A hotline has been set up for the status of friends or family members missing in the collapse.