Residential building collapse in South Florida
Residential building collapse in South FloridaREUTERS/Octavio Jones

At least 4 people are dead and 159 people are unaccounted for after the collapse of a 12-story condo building in heavily Jewish Surfside, Florida, a town near Miami, local media outlets reported.

Town officials stated that 120 building residents have been accounted for. But 99 people are still missing. Thirty-five people were rescued from the collapsed building, and two people were discovered and removed from the rubble. One of them was a boy.

Eleven building resident were treated for injuries.

According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Friday morning that 120 residents had been accounted for, but added that those numbers were "fluid."

“Unfortunately this has been a tragic night,” she said.

Emergency crews said that the search for additional survivors is dangerous because the remainder of the tower is unstable and shifting, reported WPBF News.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman told CNN that at this point, search and rescue efforts have started to transition to recovery efforts.

"The rest of the search and rescue efforts has been done by man power on the outside, search on the barrier quarters, also with drones and with dogs,” she said.

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation, along with other charity organizations, has set up a family reunification centre at the Surfside Community Center to provide aid and support to families.

Since the building collapsed, Hatzalah has been on the scene helping with rescue efforts.

Yosef Dahan, a member of the Hatzalah rescue service team that has been dispatched to the scene of the Miami building collapse, told Galei Tzahal that a large number of Jewish victims of the disaster is expected.

"This is a heavily Jewish neighborhood, with lots of synagogues and a lot of local residents are haredim," he said.

"There's a large number of people here working to locate those missing among the rubble," he noted. "We haven't found anyone else alive so far."