The Champlain Towers South partial condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, is an unspeakable tragedy happening in real time. While the how and why of this disaster will likely be debated for years, what we know right now is that many families and friends of those currently missing are hurting deeply, while holding on to hope that their loved ones might still be found alive.
As of this writing, 10 people have been pronounced dead, and 151 are still unaccounted for, according to USA Today.
There are stories of heroic actions, too. Angela Gonzalez and her 16-year-old daughter, Devon, fell from the 9th floor to the 4th floor while trying to escape. Despite breaking her pelvis during the fall, Gonzalez was able to pull herself and her daughter out of the rubble. The New York Times reported that the mother and daughter were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment, where Angela was in a medically induced coma and had a lacerated liver and injuries to her hip, pelvis and knees, and Devon required surgery for a fractured leg.
The teen told her aunt, Adriana Gonzalez Chi, that she remembered her mother grabbing her arm to flee, and then nothing else.
"She lost consciousness and was under some rubble, and was banging on metal for them to hear her," Chi said of her niece. "And her mom must have been nearby."
This mama's heroic efforts are one of only a few that we know about thus far. Unfortunately, her story is surrounded by sadness, as Gonzalez's husband and Devon's father, Edgar Gonzalez, remains missing.
As first responders' massive search and rescue effort continues, we will learn more stories of heroism and likely even more of tragedy. But, there's a way you can help right now: several funds have been set up by area organizations to help victims' families in the long term as they grapple with this unbelievably shocking event.
Support Surfside was created by a group of local businesses and organizations, including the Miami Heat Charitable Foundation and the Coral Gables Community Foundation. "Our collective thoughts are with the families and individuals affected by the building collapse in Surfside, Florida. Together, our community foundations are launching a hardship fund to help those impacted," reads the mission statement on their website.
Andy Alvarez, a deputy incident commander with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, spoke with ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning.
"This is a frantic search to seek that hope, that miracle, to see who we can bring out of this building alive," he said.