SURFSIDE, Fla. — A desperate search is underway for survivors who may be trapped in the rubble of the condo building that collapsed early Thursday outside of Miami and at least two Chicago residents are missing.
Ilan Naibryf, is a third year University of Chicago student, and is home in the Miami area between academic quarters.
Rabbi Yossi Brackman knows Naibryf well.
“Ilan is a third year, he just finished his third year in college he has been heavily involved in the Jewish community – especially at the Chabad House,” he said. “A leader and an innovator, always has a smile, always upbeat person and really stepped up as the president of our student board this past year.”
Nearly 100 people were still unaccounted for, authorities said, raising fears that the death toll could climb sharply. But officials did not know how many were in the tower when it fell around 1:30 a.m.
Another Chicago resident name Juan Mora, a recent Loyola graduate who was visiting his parents, is also missing, according to the Miami Herald.
The outlet said his parents were born in Cuba and all three are missing at this time.
“The building is literally pancaked,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean, to me, that we are going to be as successful as we wanted to be in finding people alive.”
About half of the building’s roughly 130 units were affected, the mayor told a news conference. Rescuers pulled at least 35 people from the wreckage by mid-morning.
The collapse, which appeared to affect one leg of the L-shaped tower, tore away walls and left a number of homes in the still-standing part of the building exposed in what looked like a giant dollhouse. Television footage showed bunk beds, tables and chairs inside.
Authorities did not provide an update to numbers in a brief press conference on Thursday night and said they will hold another at around 7 a.m. central Friday morning.