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A large-scale rescue operation is underway in Miami following the collapse of a 12-storey residential building close to Miami Beach.

Authorities responded to the emergency call at 01:30 and, upon arrival, they were able to rescue 30 occupants.

One of the occupants was a young boy who was stuck among the rubble. A dog-walker who just happened to be in the area managed to spot the boy waving his arm. He alerted the firemen on the scene immediately, and they were able to save the boy.

So far, at least one person has been declared dead. As of Thursday afternoon, Miami-Commissioner Sally Heyman said that at least 99 people were still unaccounted for.

The Wallstreet Journal reports that about 55 units in the building have been damaged. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said the building was substantially full of occupants at the time of the collapse.

9 News Australia reports that it took the building a mere 12 seconds to collapse.

Reports have since surfaced that the reason for the collapse is unknown as the building is considered to be relatively new. The building was erected in 1981 and has just started to undergo its 40-year inspection.

Florida's governor has declared a state of emergency. At this stage, it's unknown whether any South Africans were involved.

Watch the moment the building collapsed in the CCTV footage supplied by Fox 13 Tampa Bay video below, and then the CNBC video for more on the collapse of an apartment building in Miami.

Image credit: Sky News

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