Search and rescue workers on Wednesday recovered 10 more bodies from the rubble of an apartment block outside Miami that collapsed last month and brought the death toll to 46, as s ‘faded hopes that some of the 94 people who have not yet been identified found alive.
The effort to locate survivors of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building continued in hot, dry conditions with the threat of Tropical Storm Elsa, hitting the opposite side of Florida, having retired.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement that in addition to the 46 confirmed deaths, 94 people could still be found who may have been inside the Surfside building when they left. partially collapse on June 24th.
Levine Cava, who shed tears as she repeated her statements in Spanish, said the rescue effort had been facilitated by the demolition scheduled for Sunday night of half of the building that had been left standing.
“The equipment continues to advance in areas of the pile that were inaccessible prior to demolition,” Levine Cava said.
As he spoke, a new shift of workers passed through small groups, in clean uniforms and without sharing a word, while a group leaving the pile of rubble seemed exhausted and sweaty.
Although local officials say they have not given up hope of finding survivors, no one has been found alive in the ruins since the early hours after the building arrived in the early hours of June 24. , while many of its residents slept.
Asked whether continuing the research gave families false hopes, Levine Cava said, “They are being supported to close as soon as possible.”
Assistant Miami-Dade fire chief Raide Jadallah briefed family members on the newly discovered remains Wednesday morning in a private briefing.
Rescuers have yet to discover any new “voids” or rubble pockets that could house survivors, Jadallah said.
Jadallah told the families that the work remains a search and rescue operation and that he has not yet gone on a recovery mission.
“We’re not there yet,” he said.
Later, Miami-Dade fire chief Alan Cominsky sighed when asked during the press conference if officials were giving families a false sense of hope.
“Obviously, it’s very difficult,” he said. “We’ve been running out of effort, and that’s where we’re at right now. It’s running out of effort and we’re going to get out of there.”
Maggie Castro, a Miami-Dade firefighter and paramedic, said families are physically and emotionally exhausted.
“There are a lot of emotional roller coasters trying to stay positive and hold on to the wait,” said Castro, who has given daily updates to families.
“I think there has been a kind of shift towards acceptance, but obviously with that comes a certain sadness,” he told The Associated Press in an interview.
On Tuesday, workers dug powdered concrete at the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, filling buckets that passed through a line to empty them and then returning them.
The close-up look at the search, in a video released Tuesday by the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Department, occurred when rain and wind from Tropical Storm Elsa disrupted the effort.