Surfside, Florida Mayor Charles Burkett updated Fox News late Thursday on the deadly building collapse that occurred overnight, in which about half of a high-rise apartment building pancaked down on itself.
At least one person has died and as many as 99 were unaccounted for as of Thursday afternoon, and Burkett told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that such tragic events do not tend to happen in the U.S.
“Buildings like this do not fall in America. This is a third-world phenomenon and it’s shocking,” he said, praising first responders who rushed to the high-rise along the famous A1A.
“I was out there at 1:30, 2:00 this morning and it was just a sight that we’ve never expected to see. I thought it was going to be a balcony that had come off, but it was half the building. It’s a 134-unit building and approximately half of those units are just gone,” said Burkett.
When asked by Carlson about the potential cause, Burkett replied that his priority at this point is still the humanitarian recovery and search for survivors – but that the scene reminded him of how the World Trade Center towers 1 and 2 came down nearly vertically after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
“They fell in two sections. You may have seen it in some videos, it was not unlike what happened at the trade center in 2001 and it’s really disturbing,” he said.
“All that aside, we need to focus on getting people out alive and that is exactly what we are doing.”
Burkett and other local officials, including Rep. Deborah Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., briefed reporters earlier in the evening, as the rescue and recovery phase is ongoing.
“We have heroes, we have all the resources we need. We are not short on resources, we are just short on good luck. We need a lot more good luck,” Burkett told Carlson.
The collapse occurred just north of the city line with Miami Beach at the Champlain Towers complex.