The death toll from the collapse of the Surfside apartment rises to 24; the remaining buildings will be demolished before the storm arrives
Surfside, Fla. (AP)-Officials said on Saturday that demolition workers will demolish the rest of a partially collapsed apartment building in South Florida before the storm is approaching. The storm has increased the possibility of the structure. The fear of breaking down dangerously on its own.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that as Tropical Storm Elsa is imminent in the Caribbean and is expected to move to the state in the next few days, the building in Surfside is “tottering” and “The structure is not sound”, it is a wise move to dismantle it.
“If the building is demolished, it will protect our search and rescue team because we don’t know when it will collapse,” DeSantis said at a press conference. “And, of course, with these gusts, it may cause very serious danger.”
The mayor of Miami-Dade, Daniella Levine Cava, said that at the same time, two other bodies were found in the rubble, and the death toll of the 12th-story Champlain Tanan was confirmed to have collapsed to 24. people. There are still 124 people missing.
DeSantis said officials believe that the remaining parts of the building can be demolished as early as Sunday, and search and rescue efforts will hardly be disrupted. In the past week, there has been growing concern that the damaged structure is at risk of malfunctioning, endangering the staff below and complicating the search.
The mayor of Surfside, Charles Burkett, said: “People are worried that (Elsa) may demolish this building for us and demolish it in the wrong direction.”
Elsa was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm on Saturday, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70 mph (110 km/h) as it swept the island of Hispaniola, home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
The long-term forecast trajectory shows that by Tuesday morning, it will head towards Florida in the form of a tropical storm, but some models will bring it into the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast. Meteorological officials warned that this may bring heavy rain and gusts to the Miami area.
“So we can’t let our guard down,” said Robert Moleda, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “You still need to watch this very closely.”
Assistant Fire and Rescue Chief Raide Jadallah told the relatives of the missing persons at a morning briefing that the building will be demolished “as soon as possible.” The first thing tomorrow. “
But he warned that “some minor issues may arise” and will hold a follow-up meeting in the afternoon to finalize the details. As experts enter the building to drill holes and place explosives, the demolition work may be an unstable operation.
Concerns about its stability reduced searches in neighboring areas, and changes detected by monitors earlier on Thursday prompted a 15-hour suspension of work until the engineers determined that it was safe to resume.
Jadallah said that once it is dismantled, the remnants will be immediately removed in order to allow rescuers to enter the garage area of ??interest for the first time. This can provide a clearer understanding of the possible voids in the rubble and the possibility of hiding survivors.
No one has been rescued alive since the first hour after the crash on June 24.
The demolition will temporarily suspend the search, but officials hope it will not last long. Some families have asked to be able to return to the building to retrieve their personal belongings, but they will not be allowed to do so.
“In the final analysis, this building is too unsafe for people to go back,” DeSantis said. “I know a lot of people are able to go out. Fortunately, they have something there. We are very sensitive to this, but I don’t think you can get someone into that building given its current shape.”
The governor also declared a state of emergency before the storm.
Calvin reports from Tallahassee, Florida. Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.