Authorities believe the body of a third missing construction worker has been located in the rubble of a collapsed parking garage on the Doral campus of Miami Dade College, according to Miami Dade Fire Rescue, though rescuers are still working to reach the area.
Four floors of the nearly-completed, $24 million 5-story structure collapsed in pancake fashion around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday. No students were inside the garage when it fell, but instead it was full of dozens of construction employees and subcontractors.
One man was previously confirmed dead, a second body was found late Wednesday afternoon, and a Miami-Dade Rescue official told HuffPost Wednesday evening that K-9 units have indicated the location of apparent remains believed to be third and last person unaccounted for.
"It fell to the ground like a house of cards," Victoria Buczynski, who was working across the street, told the Associated Press. "The construction workers started running out, screaming. It was loud. Our entire building shook."
Rescue workers who spent hours trying to extricate another worker from the collapse finally decided to amputate his legs above the knee, according to the Miami Herald, who reported he was rushed to a nearby hospital in extremely critical condition.
MDFR spokesperson Griselle Marino said the man had been pinned from the waist down inside a truck cab crushed in the collapse, and a trauma surgeon was assisting MDFR's entire tactical response team, a highly-trained veteran group who saw action after collapses during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and September 11, with his rescue.
"He needs so much medical attention, his legs are crushed," Marino said earlier of the man, who was given an IV while rescuers tried to free him without losing his legs. "It's a decision you or I wouldn't want to make."
Another man was previously extricated alive from the collapse (see footage below) and is currently in critical condition at a local hospital.
A total of nine workers have been transported to hospitals and trauma centers and two men were treated on scene. More than 90 fire crews and K-9 units responded to assist in the massive search and rescue effort. (Story continues below.)
It is not yet known what caused the garage to fall. According to CBS Miami, inspections were the responsibility of the college, not Miami-Dade County:
Inspections of the garage as it was being built, as well as permitting of the work, was performed by Miami-Dade College and not the city or county. According to the contractor’s website, the garage was designed to incorporate a shell classroom and office space on level one with parking on 5 levels above.
[MDFR Captain Louis] Fernandez said the collapse was one of the largest ever seen in Miami-Dade County and said it was a “pancake” collapse where each floor collapse onto the one below it.
Contractor Ajax Building Corporation issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon, saying the company was committed to determining the cause and extending "our deepest sympathies and prayers to the families of our colleague who died, our colleagues currently being rescued and others injured."
First responders made contact with survivors calling for help in the rubble, but had to shore up the structural integrity of the garage before sending in search crews and dogs.
"We can't just start digging through concrete," MDFR Lt. Arnold Piedrahita told the Associated Press.
The MDC campus and nearby businesses were evacuated to clear space for rescue workers and a triage area. The school declared it will stay closed for the remainder of the week.
Leslie Del Toro, who saw the garage collapse, describe on Twitter seeing one person pulled out alive: "They pulled a guy out and his whole shoulder was cut up and out of place...When I tell you every cop and fire rescue is here I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE."
Another student reported the entire campus shook when the structure collapsed.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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