The remaining damaged part of the Florida apartment block was torn down while rescuers prepared to continue searching for victims.
Demolition crews have dropped explosives to demolish the remaining part of a partially collapsed apartment building in South Florida, where the deaths of 24 people and 121 still missing have been confirmed.
Video footage on Sunday afternoon showed the 12-story Champlain Towers South being demolished in Surfside, outside Miami, 10 days after most of the building collapsed in the early hours. of June 24 while residents slept.
Search and rescue efforts have been made for the missing suspended, but Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said rescuers would immediately return to the task of trying to locate survivors buried under the rubble as soon as they received the “all clear.”
“It simply came to our notice then. We’re ready to go in, regardless of the time of night, ”Levine Cava told a news conference Sunday night.
No one has been rescued alive since the early hours after the June 24 collapse.
Lifeguards hope the demolition will give them access for the first time to parts of the garage area that are a focus of interest, said Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah. This could give a clearer picture of any void in the rubble that could harbor survivors.
Officials had evacuated residents around the site before the demolition and warned others to stay inside and close windows, doors and any other openings that could allow dust to enter.
The decision to demolish the apartment building came after worries that the damaged structure was in danger of collapsing, endangering the crews below and preventing them from operating in some areas. Parts of the rest of the building were changed on Thursday, resulting in a 15-hour suspension at work.
The possible arrival of Tropical storm Elsa has created an added urgency.
On Sunday afternoon, the storm was off the coast of Cuba with winds of 95 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour). Recent forecasts have moved the storm westward, saving mostly South Florida, but National Hurricane Center meteorologist Robert Molleda said the area could still feel the effects.
“We are mainly expecting gusts of tropical storm force,” Molleda said, referring to gusts above 64 km / h.
Instead of the usual fireworks and flag parties, communities on the beach in the area have planned more moderate events for July 4th. Miami Beach canceled Independence Day celebrations.
Investigators have not determined what caused the 40-year-old collapse of the complex on June 24. A 2018 engineering report found structural deficiencies that are now the focus of research.