A dog walker heard screaming from the collapsed Miami apartment block and saw “fingers wiggling” amid the rubble.
Nicholas Bilbao says he was walking his dog at night when he felt the ground shake and saw the 12-storey building collapse in Surfside, Miami-Dade County, the US.
“It was eerie, like quiet, still,” he told CNN, “It was almost out of a horror movie.”
Hearing the screams, he then saw fingers from underneath the concrete rubble.
Balboa added: “Finally, I got close enough to hear him, and he said, ‘Can you see my hand?’
“He was sticking his hand up …. through the debris. And I could see his hand and his fingers wiggling.”
Nicholas called over police and rescue workers, reports the Daily Mirror, who were able to get to the boy.
He is believe to have survived the building collapse by hiding under a bed.
“He was obviously sleeping,” Balbao said. “I can only imagine how many people were in their apartments either sleeping or watching TV or just whatever, just living their lives. Unbeknownst to them the building was about to break away.”
Video footage shows rescuers reaching an arm and then helping pull out a boy who appeared to be in pyjamas.
At least one person has been killed and 99 are still missing, officials say.
Mayor Charles Burkett warned in a press conference that the building manager told him the tower had been quite full and the number of dead was likely to rise.
He said: “It was a complete collapse of the building.
“I thought maybe a balcony had gone down, but we’ve got 134 units in that building, I understand, and literally half that building is not there anymore,” he said.
President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration for Florida, meaning the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help state agencies with the relief effort.
Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted that she has signed a “declaration of local state of emergency” that will begin to allocate the necessary resources need to respond to the disaster.