A significant number of unaccounted for residents of a collapsed Miami, Florida condo building may be Jewish.
A huge rescue effort by emergency specialists is desperately searching for survivors of the collapsed 12-story tower, part of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, near Miami.
The complex was built in 1981 and had 135 units.
At least 99 people remain unaccounted for as of Thursday night local time. At least one person was killed and at least 11 were injured.
The Miami-Dade mayor said at least 102 people have been accounted for.
The Yeshiva World was told by Chesed Shel Emes that approximately one-quarter of those unaccounted for may be Jews.
Charles Kesl, the commissioner of Surfside, said on Thursday evening he has hope that more people can be rescued from the rubble of the partially collapsed building in his community.
At the same time he acknowledged that "realistically, I'm not sure how many or if anyone will be recovered and found alive."
Hatzalah of South Florida has been at the site of the disaster helping Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Command.
Chesed Shel Emes and Police Chaplain Rabbi Mark Rosenberg have been working with emergency services to locate missing victims, the Yeshiva World Reported.
According to the Associated Press, the death toll is likely to rise. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett warned that the building manager relayed to him the building was very full at the time of its collapse, which was approximately 1:30 a.m. The exact number of people in the building at the time is unknown.
“The building is literally pancaked,” 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.”
City officials have not speculated on what may have led to the building’s collapse.
Burkett said that work was being done of the building’s roof but he does not think that had anything to do with the disaster.
Miami-Dade Mayor Danielle Levine Cava spoke with President Joe Biden at noon. The president offered the full support of the federal government to help the community.
“(President Biden) offered the full support of the federal gov. to help our community during this difficult time. We continue to work with local, state, & federal agencies as we respond to this tragedy and do everything we can to support the impacted families,” tweeted Levine Cava.
Emergency services are urging people with unaccounted for relatives to call 305-614-1819.