The death toll rises to 27 as the search for the Florida condominium resumes Climate News


The remains of buildings were demolished overnight, while rescuers expanded the search to previously unsafe areas of rubble piles.

Three more bodies were found Monday in the wreckage of a partially collapsed condominium in Surfside, Florida, bringing the number of confirmed deaths to 27, after the remaining parts of the damaged complex were demolished during the night.

The bodies were found when search and rescue efforts resumed after the demolition from the remaining part of the Champlain Towers South complex in Surfside. The number of missing people fell to 118, officials said.

“Collapsing an entire apartment building is a devastating decision and demolition was by no means a decision I took lightly,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

“Demolishing the building in a controlled manner was critical to expanding our scope of search, really, we couldn’t continue without demolishing that building,” Cava said at a news conference Monday.

On Sunday at 10:30 pm (Monday at 2:30 GMT), the explosives dropped the rest of the partially collapsed 12-story building that initially collapsed on June 24th.

Video footage of the managed implosion showed the structure falling and throwing feathers of smoke and dust. Using a method called “energy logging,” the crews used small explosives and relied on gravity to tear down the building in its place.

View of the Champlain Towers South residential building partially collapsed while demolished, in Surfside, Florida, USA [Marco Bello/Reuters]

The fire department searched thoroughly and repeatedly in the building for people and pets, used thermal exploration drones to detect body heat and set traps for live animals on the exposed floors, the mayor said.

“We really made an effort to take every step we could, at great risk to our first responders to ensure that all the pets that were loved family members, none of them stayed in the building,” he said. .

Search and rescue efforts had been canceled during demolition, but these efforts were resumed in 15 minutes and focused on an area of ​​the rubble mound that rescue workers could not previously explore due to the risks of collapse of the rest of the building, he said. say Cava to journalists.

On Monday morning, tropical storm Elsa was near Cuba with sustained winds reaching a peak of about 100 km / h (60 mph) and set to revolt across the country on its way to Florida. It was moving northwest at 22 km / h (14 mph), the Cuban Meteorological Institute said.

The storm is expected to approach west Florida north of the city of Tampa on Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

A coroner’s vehicle is seen after finding the bodies of three more people in the rubble of a collapsed high-rise apartment building in Florida [Marco Bello/Reuters]

The National Weather Service projected that with the storm following west, Miami-Dade would see some showers and storms with occasional strong gusts and strong local rains and potential flooding.

Prior to the demolition, residents of nearby buildings were told they did not need to evacuate, but were told to stay inside and turn off the air conditioning due to dust.

Researchers have not determined which caused the 40-year-old Surfside complex will collapse. A 2018 engineering report found structural deficiencies that are now the focus of consultations that include a grand jury examination.

The disaster prompted an urgent overhaul of other buildings. Residents of the Crestview Towers north of Miami Beach received an order on Friday to leave immediately after engineers found serious concrete and electrical problems.

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