Florida building collapse: Eyewitness describes how he helped saved young boy from rubble

  • "He was just saying, 'Please don't leave me, please don't leave me,'" Nicholas Balboa, a man from Phoenix who witnessed the harrowing collapse of a 12-story ocean-front condo tower outside of Miami, told CNBC.
  • As of Thursday evening, 99 people were still unaccounted for, and at least one person was confirmed dead.
  • Rescue teams have scoured the wreckage for more than 17 hours for any sign of life and used canines and sonar to assist the search effort.

A man who witnessed the harrowing collapse of a 12-story ocean-front condo tower outside of Miami helped save a young boy who was stuck in the debris.

"As I moved closer, I could hear somebody making noise and yelling. I started to get close to the building and climbed into the debris, and I could hear him saying that he was over there, and I could see his arm sticking up through the debris and waving his hand," Nicholas Balboa, a man from Phoenix, told CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" on Thursday night.

"He was just saying, 'Please don't leave me, please don't leave me.' I told him that we weren't going to leave him," Balboa said. "It was myself and one other person. So, we were there and we just felt like we could get to him. It didn't feel right to just leave him, especially hearing that his voice was just so young." 

Balboa was in Surfside, Florida,to visit his father when Champlain Towers South building crumbled early Thursday. According to NBC News, authorities were called about the collapse around 1:30 a.m. ET

As of Thursday evening, 99 people were still unaccounted for, and at least one person was confirmed dead.

Rescue teams have scoured the wreckage for more than 17 hours for any sign of life and used canines and sonar to assist the search effort. They've pulled 37 people out of the wreckage alive.

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