Greek American student, Andreas Giannitsopoulos, is missing following the 12-storey Champlain Towers South building collapse in Surfside, Miami on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The 21-year-old and his family are originally from Xanthi in northern Greece, but they have been living permanently in Texas for years.
Giannitsopoulos was studying Business Strategy and International Markets at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, but was staying with a family friend in Miami at the time of the building collapse.
His dad, Kostas Giannitsopoulos, told The Wall Street Journal that both boys are missing.
“I’m waiting on my two best friends – one of them is my 21-year-old son. I’m crushed,” Kostas said.
The father said he was holding out hope that his son, who is an athlete, and friend would be found alive. But at the same time, he was bracing himself for bad news.
“It’s like a rollercoaster,” he said.
There are at least nine people dead and 156 people still missing after the residential building partially collapsed on Thursday. Search and rescue teams are racing to find survivors.
The cause of the collapse is not yet known but a 2018 engineering report showed that the building had “major structural damage” to a concrete structural slab below its pool deck that needed to be extensively repaired.