The mayor of Surfside, Florida, said the building that partially collapsed overnight “pancaked” as it fell.
“Apparently when the building came down it pancaked, so there’s just not a lot of voids that they are finding or seeing from the outside,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said on NBC’s “Today Show.”
Burkett said two people were transported to hospital, one of whom was later declared dead. He added that 15 family units are currently at a community will be relocated to hotels shortly.
The mayor said the search-and-rescue effort began shortly after 2:00 a.m. ET and continues through the morning with dogs.
“The dogs have been going over the debris and just tragically there haven’t been any hits for the dogs and that’s a great disappointment,” Burkett said.
When asked if all units in the building were occupied, the mayor confirmed the building “was not lowly occupied.”
“I think there were quite a few people in there,” he said.
As to the cause of the collapse, the mayor noted there was roof work going on but did not think that was related to the collapse.
“This is a catastrophic failure of that building,” Burkett said. “It looks like a bomb went off but we are pretty sure a bomb didn’t go off.”