A mom who was involved in the tragic Surfside condo collapse in Miami managed to pull her daughter to safety from the rubble, despite falling 4 floors and sustaining serious injuries.
CBS 4 Miami reported that both Angela Gonzalez and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Devon, were inside the building when it collapsed. The pair fell all the way from the 9th floor to the 5th floor as the building fell apart beneath them, leaving Gonzalez with a broken pelvis.
After their terrifying ordeal, they were both taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment.
But sadly Ms. Gonzalez's husband, Edgar Gonzalez, is among the nearly 160 people still missing. So far, 4 people have been confirmed dead following the freak accident.
Lisa Melencial, a friend of the Gonzalez family, told reporters: "Even though it's a tragic scenario. I just want prayers and just the best for her and her family."
The twelve-story complex collapsed at 1:30 am on Thursday, but not much is known about how the building collapsed.
On Thursday at 1:30 a.m., #MDFR responded to reports of a building collapse at Champlain Towers, a 12-story, 136-unit apartment complex located at 8777 Collins Avenue. #SurfsideBuildingCollapse pic.twitter.com/VmqW2zKO0z
— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 24, 2021
One resident who managed to escape the building told the Associated Press that he heard what he thought was lightning before opening his door to rubble. He was later rescued from his apartment by firefighters using a cherrypicker.
A rescue mission has been underway since the building collapsed, using search dogs and machinery to assist as they try to find as many people as they can, still stuck under the rubble.
#MDFR #FLTF1 conducting search and rescue operations in the rubble of the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse. Heavy machinery is being used in order to carefully lift and move around debris to access search areas. pic.twitter.com/Ol2Ok6v4a0
— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 25, 2021
Senator Marco Rubio tweeted: "6-8 squad units are on the pile in Surfside actively searching around the clock. They have also now cut a trench 125 feet into the pile that is 20 feet wide & 40 feet deep & using sonar & cameras to search for survivors."
There have been reports of sounds coming from under the rubble, but most have come from sliding metal and debris.
President Joe Biden has authorized FEMA to assist the response effort while Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency.
"The TV doesn't do it justice," DeSantis said, "It is really, really traumatic to see the collapse of a massive structure like that."
He later tweeted: "Since minutes after the building collapsed, first responders have worked around the clock to find survivors in Surfside. These are the heroes — @FLCaseyDeSantis and I thank them."
Senator Marco Rubio said emergency visas were being arranged for individuals living in the building. Writing on Twitter: "An @FEMA recovery center will be open soon in Surfside to help survivors, victim families & displaced residents access benefits they are eligible for & to help meet any unmet needs by helping them access assistance being offered by charitable organizations."
"Many are starting to or have already arrived in South Florida," he followed up in a tweet.
Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to those affected by this terrible accident.