'Mass casualties' feared as apartment block collapses on Miami beach

MASS casualties are feared after a 12-story apartment block partially collapsed near Miami beach.

Witnesses reportedly heard screams from the rubble as more than 80 emergency crews responded to the incident in Surfside around 2am on Thursday.

The apartment is believed to be named Champlain Towers South.

Footage shows a large section of the building that had collapsed into a pile of rubble near Collins Avenue on 88th Street, NBC Miami reports.

Multiple people are thought to be injured but the exact number remains unknown.

At least two people and a firefighter have been transported to hospital, according to local media reports.

The cause of the accident remains unknown and it's unclear if the portion of the apartment that collapsed was fully occupied.

A huge rescue operation as firefighters and search dogs are on the scene, searching through the rubble.

Witnesses reportedly saw fire crews rescuing residents from their balconies.

One witness, who was next door to the apartment block, told Fox that the collapse sounded and felt like a "tornado or earthquake".

He said: "It was the craziest thing I ever heard in my life."

Miami Dade Fire and Rescue tweeted: "MDFR is on the scene of a partial building collapse near 88 Street & Collins Avenue.

"Over 80 MDFR units including TRT are on scene with assistance from municipal fire departments."

Miami Beach Police tweeted: "MBPD and @MiamiBeachFire are assisting the Town of Surfside at a partial building collapse located at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida.

"Multiple police and fire agencies from across Miami-Dade are assisting."

The investigation remains ongoing.

More to follow…

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