‘Not Seeing Anything Positive’: Death Toll Rises To 32 Since Florida Condo Demolition As Hope Dims
Four more bodies have been pulled from the rubble since the demolition of the remaining units in the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida on Sunday evening. “We are not seeing anything positive,” warned Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky of the latest developments in the search.
The last of the remaining units were demolished from the Florida condo complex that partially collapsed on June 24, leaving at least 32 victims dead and 113 still missing as of this morning.
Local officials decided to take down the still-standing towers of the 12-story condo building ahead of the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa. The remainder of the building was imploded via controlled demolition. A video was taken at the site.
— Harrison (@HarrisonHill) July 5, 2021
“Only dust landed on the existing pile” from Sunday night’s demolition, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Monday. Those who live near the condo were informed to keep their windows shut to avoid exposure to dust.
Officials had concerns that the heavy rain and wind would destabilize the structure causing It to collapse from the instability of the previously collapsed wing in the building. Officials deemed the demolition necessary in an effort to try to get closer to parts of the building that were still standing, including an area where master bedrooms that collapsed were located.
“We’re now at 100 percent full strength, full-on pulling everybody out of that rubble pile,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said on Tuesday.
A total of seven bodies were discovered since the demolition on Sunday night.
On Friday, Cava said the demolition of the remaining units in the partially collapsed structure would “most likely take weeks.” Cava said the demolition would help the search-and-rescue teams seek a balance with finding victims in the rubble.
Since the collapse last Thursday, residents of the condo have not been allowed back into their units since they were forced to evacuate that night. This raised concern for the owners about the state of their pets that were left behind. A court order was denied on Sunday for a resident requesting an attempt to rescue their stranded animals.
NEW: In emergency hearing, Judge Hanzman just now denied request from woman to retrieve pet stranded at Surfside condo before tonight's demolition. So very sad – but its an extraordinary situation all around.
— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) July 5, 2021
As the search-rescue crew still continues to battle through powerful gusts of winds on the brink of the hurricane, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez said Florida has declared a state of emergency. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Twitter account said that the weather was not hampering the search.
Despite the arrival of inclement weather due to Tropical Storm Elsa, first responders continue working on the debris pile of the Champlain Towers building collapse in Surfside. pic.twitter.com/Gc12hdtu86
— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) July 5, 2021