Rescuers retrieved four more bodies from the rubble of the partially collapsed apartment complex in the American city of Miami on Wednesday. The death toll has risen to sixteen, according to local authorities report American media. 147 people are still missing.
In the early hours of last Thursday, three sections of an apartment building in the Surfside district collapsed in quick succession. Many residents were still asleep at the time of the disaster. Rescue workers have now removed more than 1.3 million kilograms of rubble from the crash site. On Thursday, a 15-year-old boy was pulled alive from the debris. His mother did not survive the disaster.
The investigation into the cause of the collapse is still ongoing. Maintenance work is said to have been going on in the twelve-storey building. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said the complex had been inspected a day before the collapse. He described the collapsed part of the building as “flat as a pancake.” The apartments had been inhabited since 1981, the collapsed part would consist of about 55 houses.
Also read: Miami searches for survivors in mountain of rubble – and seeks answers
Monday reported The Wall Street Journal that residents of the complex had received a letter from the owners’ association in April, warning that pre-existing damage in the parking garage had worsened and that defects had been identified in the roof.
The New York Times wrote last weekend that it was already known in 2018 that there was major structural damage to the concrete slab under the pool deck and that the concrete in the underground parking garage had been severely damaged. A Miami City official assured residents that the building was “in very good condition.”
US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill visit the crash site Thursday. “It is an unimaginably difficult time for the families affected by this tragedy,” the president said.