Florida collapse death toll now 24, rest of building to be razed soon | Inquirer News
Close  

Florida collapse death toll now 24, rest of building to be razed soon

/ 08:05 AM July 04, 2021
A woman prays as rescue workers search the rubble at the site of the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida, on July 2, 2021. - Two more victims were found in the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in Florida, including the body of a seven-year-old girl, bringing the death toll from last week's tragedy to 20, with 128 people still unaccounted for, officials said on July 2, 2021. (Photo by Giorgio Viera / AFP)

A woman prays as rescue workers search the rubble at the site of the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida, on July 2, 2021. (AFP)

SURFSIDE, Florida – Searchers recovered two more bodies to bring the death toll in the Florida apartment block collapse to 24, authorities said Saturday, as the search for victims paused in the afternoon so demolition crews could prepare to bring down the part of the building still standing.

The razing took on special urgency as Tropical Storm Elsa churned in the Caribbean, following a path expected to bring it to Florida early next week.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Search and rescue does have to pause temporarily while the demolition preparation is underway. There is threat to the standing building that is posed to the first responders” as crews drill into columns of the damaged building, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

“We will begin the search and rescue once again on any sections of the pile that are safe to access as soon as we’re cleared.”

FEATURED STORIES

Nine days after the collapse in the town of Surfside, 121 people are still listed as missing, Levine Cava said.

Hopes of finding anyone alive are fast diminishing.

Most of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building collapsed in the early hours of June 24, sending up a huge cloud of dust and rattling Americans unprepared for such a deadly urban disaster.

With Tropical Storm Elsa rumbling northward through the Caribbean, just shy of hurricane force — and headed, for now, straight for Florida — authorities are accelerating plans to demolish the remaining part of the structure.

Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters demolition work could be completed before Elsa arrives, probably on Tuesday.

Authorities had previously said the work could take weeks, but DeSantis, a Republican, said accelerating demolition was only prudent.

He said demolition could be completed within 36 hours — entailing “minimal work stoppage from the search and rescue teams” — and that work sifting through the existing debris could resume as soon as it is clear that no fires have erupted.

ADVERTISEMENT

Miami-Dade fire chief Alan Cominsky said meanwhile several cases of Covid-19 had been detected in one team of searchers.

That team, he said, had been demobilized, and medical protocols put in place to isolate anyone affected.

gsg

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: building, collapse, Florida, Miami
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.