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Australians feared trapped in the rubble of Miami’s residential tower after it collapsed

‘Many Australians’ are feared trapped in the rubble of collapsed 12-storey Miami tower as firefighters scramble to find 99 missing residents

  • Australians are believed missing after the collapse of a Florida residential tower
  • Rescue crews are combing the rubble in search of 99 missing residents
  • Entire side of the 12-storey building gave way and fell around 1.30am Thursday

A number of Australians are feared to be among 99 missing residents after a residential tower collapsed in Florida.

Rescue crews have been combing through the rubble looking for residents after an entire side of the 12-storey building gave way and fell to the ground in Surfside around 1.30am on Thursday  

A fire official said 35 people were rescued from the building, including two who were pulled from the rubble as response teams used trained dogs and drones in the search for survivors. 

Miami resident Joseph Waks said he was having difficulty contacting an elderly Australian couple who are residents in the tower. 

A number of Australians are believed missing after the collapse of a Florida residential tower

An entire side of the 12-storey building gave way and fell to the ground around 1.30am on Thursday

An entire side of the 12-storey building gave way and fell to the ground around 1.30am on Thursday

The building was home to a mix of people including families and part-time 'snowbird' residents who spend the winter months in Florida

The building was home to a mix of people including families and part-time ‘snowbird’ residents who spend the winter months in Florida

‘I am originally from Australia — we have friends who live in that building from Australia and they are unable to be communicated with,’ he said.

‘We are hoping for the best. Only good news. They both became grandparents yet again a few hours before the tragedy. We still cannot believe it.’

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Daily Mail Australia in a statement that was working with local authorities to determine if any Australians were involved.

‘The Australian Embassy in Washington is closely monitoring developments and making urgent enquiries to determine if any Australians were affected,’ a spokesperson said.

The building was home to a mix of people including families and part-time ‘snowbird’ residents who spend the winter months in Florida.

Danny Rivero, a reporter from National Public Radio in South Florida, tweeted on Friday: ‘We’ve been told many Argentinians and Australians were in the building as well, and that all are unaccounted for. This is an international disaster.’

Another NPR reporter, Veronica Soledad Zaragovia, said she had interviewed a Surfside resident, Joseph Waks.

The building was home to a mix of people including families and part-time 'snowbird' residents who spend the winter months in Florida

The building was home to a mix of people including families and part-time ‘snowbird’ residents who spend the winter months in Florida

Another NPR reporter, Veronica Soledad Zaragovia, said she had interviewed a Surfside resident, Joseph Waks

Another NPR reporter, Veronica Soledad Zaragovia, said she had interviewed a Surfside resident, Joseph Waks

‘(He) has friends from Australia who were staying in the collapsed building,’ she tweeted.

‘Just saw him seven hours later at the Surfside Community Center. Asked if his friends from Australia appeared. They’re still missing.’

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been contacted for comment.

Horrifying surveillance footage, obtained by WSVN, captured the moment the building collapsed, sending a huge cloud of debris into the air and officials said the level of destruction made it seem like a ‘bomb went off’. 

Some signs of life have been reported from inside the rubble, although officials have yet to share further information on the hopeful discovery. 

Horrifying surveillance footage, obtained by WSVN , captured the moment the building collapsed, sending a huge cloud of debris into the air and officials said the level of destruction made it seem like a 'bomb went off'

Horrifying surveillance footage, obtained by WSVN , captured the moment the building collapsed, sending a huge cloud of debris into the air and officials said the level of destruction made it seem like a ‘bomb went off’

They also face trying to free anyone who is still alive while avoiding making further rubble collapse on top of them.

Officials said the building, built in 1981, was going through a recertification process and that engineers had been hired to complete electrical and structural repairs.

Experts who had studied the building as recently as last year said the building was unstable and had been sinking since the 1990s.

Authorities say many more people may be dead or remain trapped under the rubble and warned the recovery efforts could last an entire week. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk