First modification: 06/25/2021 – 16:47
Rescue teams recovered three dead bodies from the rubble of the residential building that collapsed early Thursday. With these, there are already four fatalities confirmed by the authorities. Meanwhile, 159 people are still missing, as confirmed on June 25 by the mayor of the county, Daniella Levine Cava.
The reasons why the northeast wing of the Champlain Towers building collapsed at 1:30 am (6.30 GMT) on Thursday, June 24, remain unknown. Meanwhile, there are already four lifeless bodies recovered, after this Friday the rescue teams recovered another three corpses from the rubble.
At the time of the collapse, the inhabitants of the building were sleeping, so the number of missing is very high. County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed the figure has risen to 159 after gathering more information about the people who could be found inside at the time the building collapsed.
More than 100 rescuers continue working, “despite the extreme risk” to find possible survivors, according to Levine Cava, who does not close the possibility of finding people alive.
The firefighters do not rule out this assumption either. Miami-Dade Deputy Fire Chief Ray Jadallah said sounds were heard through the debris during the night, but could not be sure if they were sounds caused by falling debris or people banging. At the moment, they have not heard human voices.
Identification of victims and assistance to survivors
Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramírez stressed that the identification of the bodies found last night will begin immediately. Meanwhile, the mayor confirmed that 110 other people from the damaged building who were not in it when the collapse have already been located and declared safe.
A fire department official had confirmed Thursday that 35 people were evacuated from the part of the skyscraper that was left standing. Two other people had been rescued alive by rescue teams, supported by dogs and drones.
US President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration in the state of Florida and ordered federal assistance. For his part, Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, declared an emergency in the county.
I’ve signed an executive order to provide assistance to the families and community who were affected by the tragedy in Surfside. I’m proud of our @FLSERT team for their strong coordination during this emergency to meet all requests in the area.https://t.co/kQBAvTU3oG
– Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 25, 2021
These declarations will allow personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in the rescue and assistance to survivors and families of the victims.
At the moment the causes of the collapse are unknown. Investigations could take months or even years to figure it out. What is known, authorities confirmed, is that the complex, contracted in 1981, was undergoing repairs and had recently passed a mandatory inspection.
A new building was also being built on an adjacent plot, although it is unknown whether the works could have affected the structure of the collapsed block.
With EFE and Reuters.