At least one person is dead and several others are injured after a multi-story, residential building partially collapsed in southern Florida‘s Miami-Dade County early Thursday morning, authorities said.

The Champlain Towers South condominium is located in the small, beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach.

First responders on the scene of a partially collapsed 12-story building in Surfside, Fla., about 6 miles north of Miami Beach, June 24, 2021.

A massive search and rescue operation was underway before dawn, as crews carefully checked the wreckage and remaining structure for survivors.

Footage shows aftermath of 12-story Miami building collapse

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett confirmed that at least one person had died.

“It’s less likely than a lightning strike,” Burkett told CNN. “It just doesn’t happen. You don’t see buildings falling down in America.”

Authorities say they don’t know how many people were in the building when it collapsed, nor how many of them were able to flee the disaster.

The building is part of Champlain Towers South, built in 1981 and containing 135 apartments

“We’re on the scene so it’s still very active,” said Sgt. Marian Cruz of Miami Dade Fire Rescue. “What I can tell you is the building is 12 floors. The entire back side of the building has collapsed.”

The cause of the partial collapse was unknown. The Miami-Dade Police Department said it is investigating the incident.

This is a developing story.

By MORGAN WINSOR and JON HAWORTH / GMA

ABC News’ Kendall Coughlin, Victor Oquendo and Rachel Katz contributed to this report.

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