The campus was evacuated, roads including Floridas Turnpike exit were shut down, heavy equipment was brought in to shore up the structure, and nearly 100 rescue units with about 300 rescue workers assembled quickly in an open space near the campus at 3800 NW 115th Ave., just east of the turnpike. Later, search and rescue dogs were brought in to help.
As the rescue effort continued into the night, bright lights and portable bathrooms were rolled in.
The names of the deceased were not officially released. But among the missing was Robert Budhoo, one of about 17 workers at the garage when it collapsed.
His brother, Donovan, said Robert Budhoo is an electrician with Stryker Electric, a contractor on the job.
We know he was at work today, Donovan Budhoo said. Ive been calling him all day and his cellphone doesnt answer.
Budhoo lives in Tamarac with his wife and three children. Family members drove down to Doral late Wednesday to the site, watching the rescue efforts and waiting for news.
Rutigliano, Budhoos supervisor, also waited to learn the fate of his worker, who was the only electrical worker missing, he said.
Another victim, a man in his 30s, remained trapped inside the cab of a truck, buried beneath concrete.
Were still talking to him, monitoring him, trying to get him out, said Dr. Marc Grossman, assistant medical director for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Ajax President William P. Byrne expressed the companys deepest sympathies and prayers to the family of the colleague who died and to those who were injured.
The cause of the collapse was not known Wednesday. Byrne said they would work with authorities and their partner companies to find out what went wrong.
The garage, scheduled to open in December, was to alleviate parking for the fast-growing campus, which opened in 2007. The West Campus had been growing at an astounding 40 percent annually, and a warehouse was being used for parking.
The college has been working on renovating the campus to better accommodate student demand. The garage would have had the capacity to house at least 1,500 vehicles.
According to Ajaxs website, the parking garage project was designed with classroom and office space on the bottom floor, parking on the upper decks and a facade that could be used for movie or theatrical performances.
It also was going to be attached to a neighboring building, so people could move directly from the building to the garage with their cars.
Sandy Poreda, a spokeswoman for Floridas Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said the college likely issued its own permit for the project.
The department, which handles licensing for contractors, had no record of any complaints against Ajax, the construction company, she said.
Safety on the job site is the overarching priority of Ajax, Byrne said in his statement. Even as we work to determine the cause of this accident we are committed to embracing any additional protocols, policies and procedures that will enhance and ensure the continued priority of safety.
The company said on its website in an Oct. 1 update that the garages civil infrastructure had been installed along the courtyard and amphitheater.
A concrete subcontractor was working on ramps and stairs. The structural steel subcontractor was installing the roof steel assembly. Waterproofing had begun on the second floor.
On Wednesday, something went horribly wrong.
It sounded like thunder. The whole place shook, said Miami Dade College Professor William Duba, who was in a stairwell in another building, when he heard the garage crumble.
Wednesdays collapse happened about a month after a parking garage in downtown Fort Lauderdale collapsed. That garage was in the process of being torn down, and two people suffered minor injuries.
Miami Herald staff writers Paradise Afshar, Mike Vasquez, and researcher Monika Leal contributed to this report, which was supplemented with material from The Associated Press.