Lakewood couple among the missing in condo building collapse near Miami
A Lakewood couple is among the nearly 100 people missing following a collapse at a condominium building in Surfside, Florida, just outside of Miami.
At least one person is confirmed dead, and dozens of others are missing. At least 35 people have been rescued so far.
A special prayer service was held at the Lakewood synagogue close to where the Orthodox Jewish couple lives. Neighbors tell News 12 New Jersey that the couple’s names are Benny and Malki Weiss and that they left for Florida earlier this week for vacation. They have not been heard from since the collapse.
Neighbor Esty Goldberg says that the couple gave her their key to watch their home while they were away. Goldberg says that her husband called her Thursday morning to tell her the news.
“They are the most wonderful, nicest people around. It’s so sad. I just hope you find them so soon. They live right next door to us. They’re just so special. They do everything for everybody…they moved her recently a few months ago,” Goldberg says.
Another neighbor tells News 12 that Malki Weiss's father may have also been with the couple at the time of the collapse. They say that he lived in the building and that the couple was visiting him.
Neighbors say that all they can do now is pray that the couple will be found unharmed.
“We believe whatever God does is for the best. We may not understand it. Many times, you don’t understand it, but we seek strength from God to help us during these times,” says neighbor Yeshani.
Neighbors say that Surfside is a popular vacation spot for members of the Orthodox Jewish community and that quite often members of the community will visit friends and relatives.
Religious leaders in Lakewood say that this is a tragedy that affects everyone and that they will pray for all the victims.
The cause of the collapse is under investigation.