Miami: After high-rise disaster in Surfside: search for survivors stopped

About two weeks after the partial collapse of a high-rise apartment building in Florida, the rescue workers stopped looking for survivors – now the helpers are concentrating on rescuing the deceased.

The authorities had little hope of finding survivors in the rubble. “The chance of finding a survivor is almost zero,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett on Wednesday evening (local time).

The experts have come to this conclusion. There is no air, no food, the search dogs did not hit and no noises were heard, it said. Experience and expertise now indicated that no one was alive under the rubble.

“We can and will do everything in our power to identify all victims and to reassure families in this time of unimaginable grief,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava.

For search and rescue operations, all available options have been exhausted, she said. Therefore, the “extremely difficult decision” had been made that the helpers would concentrate on recovering the corpses from midnight onwards.

Another eight bodies were recovered from the rubble on Wednesday. The number of confirmed fatalities has increased to 54. 86 people are still believed to be among the rubble of the building in the nearby Miami town of Surfside.

At the weekend, the remains of the partially collapsed residential high-rise were blown up in a controlled manner. Due to the tropical storm “Elsa”, which had meanwhile been upgraded to a hurricane, the remains of the building were also threatened with collapse.

The cause of the terrible disaster was still unclear. Debris was taken to a specific warehouse and examined by experts there. Authorities are also taking a closer look at the sister building of the collapsed Champlain South Tower – the Champlain North Tower. This was built by the same construction company at the same time – according to the same plans.

The residential complex with around 130 units collapsed on June 24th in Surfside near Miami for reasons that are still unexplained. Rescuers had since searched tirelessly for survivors.


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