Video Shows Moment Boy Is Rescued From Rubble of Collapsed Building: 'He Had a Guardian Angel'

Authorities say dozens of people are still unaccounted for after a building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, on Thursday morning

Emergency workers pulled a boy from the tangled debris of a partial collapse of a 12-story residential building in Florida on Thursday morning. Rescue efforts are currently underway for dozens of others still missing.

The dramatic footage showed firefighters pulled the boy out from the twisted rubble of Champlain Towers South, a 136-unit apartment complex in Surfside, Florida, that partly collapsed around 1:30 a.m.

About 55 of the buildings' units were destroyed in the incident, Ray Jadallah, assistant fire chief of operations for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said during a press conference.

The boy has not been publicly identified.

"I could hear somebody yelling in the debris," witness Nicholas Balboa told WFOR of the rescue. "What he was actually saying was, 'Can you see my hand, can you see my hand?' And I could see a little hand sticking up waving, moving his fingers trying to get our attention."

Surfside condo collapse
The aftermath of the Surfside Condo collapse. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty

"We were there, we were letting him know we were there. He said, 'Please don't leave me, please don't leave me.' We wouldn't leave him," Balboa added. "He looked fairly alright, like very lucky. He had a guardian angel for sure."

At least 99 people remain unaccounted for as of Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez confirms to PEOPLE. Fifty-three people are accounted for so far, he added.

A GoFundMe has been set up to provide relief for families of the victims and survivors.

According to CBS News, at least 35 people were retrieved from the portion of the building that remained standing, and two others had been pulled from the rubble.

"It's bad," Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, told the Miami Herald. "We got some people out. They had to cut away railings… Everyone who is alive is out the building."

Surfside condo collapse
The aftermath of the collapse of the condo building in Surfside, Florida. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue/Twitter

The cause of the building's collapse has not been confirmed. WTVJ said the building — located at 8777 Collins Avenue — was built in 1981.

According to real estate marketplace Zillow, condos in the building range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. A three-bedroom, two-bath condo in the building sold for $710,000 on June 16, while a four-bedroom, four-bath unit sold for $2.8 million in May.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told WTVJ that work had recently been done on the building, but could not confirm whether that played a part in the building's collapse.

Related Articles