Fearing the storm, the demolition workers moved into an apartment complex in Florida
Surfside, Florida. -Rescuers made way for the demolition team at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in South Florida, as officials turned their attention to demolishing the unstable rest of the building before the tropical storm.
The search and rescue mission was suspended on Saturday afternoon so workers can start drilling holes in the concrete of the still standing part of the South Tower of Surfside Champlain to contain the unstable business of explosives, Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Red Jadala Tell relatives to wait for news about missing relatives.
Jadallah said that the suspension is a necessary safety measure because drilling may cause structural failure. He said that if this happens, “it will only crash without warning.”
But in the video stream of Jadala’s closed-door briefing to the relatives of the missing, someone heard one of them call the search suspension “destructive”. She asked if rescuers could at least work around the scene, so as not to “stop their actions during so much painful time.”
Despite the risks of the demolition, officials said that tropical storm Elsa is imminent in the Caribbean and is expected to hit the state on Tuesday morning, so it cannot be avoided. The storm intensified fears that the remaining structure might collapse, endangering the staff below and complicating the search.
The confirmed death toll from the collapse on June 24 is 24, but 121 people are still missing. The Miami-Dade Police Department added Graciela Catarosi, 48, and Gonzalo Torre, 81, to the list of confirmed deaths on Saturday night.
“One of our buildings in Surfside is crumbling. It is structurally unsound,” Governor Ron DeSantis said on Saturday. “Although the eye of the storm is unlikely to pass in this direction, you can feel gusts of wind in this area.”
According to Jadala, the building will not collapse until Monday at the earliest. He said this estimate is based on how many holes the demolition team needs to drill, adding that this process must be carried out slowly to prevent premature collapse.
Surfside officials said the Miami-Dade police will evacuate residents from surrounding buildings from house to house before demolition. No one is allowed to enter the buildings on the north and south sides of the collapsed structure.
The Mayor of Miami-Dade, Daniella Levine Cava (Daniella Levine Cava) said that officials will resume any part of the search and rescue work that “is safe to enter once we have cleaned up.”
Jadallah said that once the structure is demolished, the remnants will be immediately removed, with the goal of allowing 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 collapse.
Calvin reports from Tallahassee, Florida. Associated Press writers Terry Spencer of Surfside, Florida, and Sudhin Thanawala of Atlanta, contributed to this report.