Selasa, 29 Juni 2021

150 still missing, 11 dead as Miami building collapse search stretches to day six - ABC News

Three generations of the one Argentine family are among the 150 people who remain unaccounted for after the collapse of a 12-story beachfront condominium building in Florida on Thursday. 

Search-and-rescue operations have stretched into a sixth day after Monday's efforts recovered just two additional bodies. 

The death toll from the unexplained cave-in of nearly half of the 156-unit building now stands at 11, in what may end up as the deadliest unintentional structural failure in US history.

US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Surfside on Thursday (local time) to meet the families of victims.

Mr Biden has offered federal help and extended his concerns to the community as people "grieve their lost loved ones and wait anxiously as search and rescue efforts continue," as he said in a tweet.

"They want to thank the heroic first responders, search and rescue teams, and everyone who has been working tirelessly around the clock and meet with the families who have been forced to endure this terrible tragedy waiting in anguish and heartbreak for word of their loved ones," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

The victims include an elderly couple from Venezuela, a young Puerto Rican man with muscular dystrophy and his mother, and a 55-year-old man who had recently married.

Search and rescue team look through rubble of collapsed Miami condo.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue says more than 300 first responders are operating on a continuous rotational 12-hour period.(

AP: Matias J Ocner, Miami Herald


Rescuers are using bucket brigades and heavy machinery as they work atop a precarious mound of pulverised concrete, twisted steel and the remnants of dozens of households.

The efforts included firefighters, sniffer dogs and search experts using radar and sonar devices.


No survivors have been pulled from the ocean-front ruins of the Champlain Towers South condo in the town of Surfside, near Miami, since the first hours after the building abruptly crumbled into a heap early Thursday as residents slept.

"We have people waiting and waiting and waiting. That is excruciating," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a news briefing late Monday local time. 

More than 100 relatives gather for sombre reflection

Since Sunday, relatives have been permitted to visit the site, watching rescue efforts from outside a neighbouring building.

Some held onto each other for support. Others hugged and prayed. Some people took photos.

Five members of the Argentine Cattarossi family,  including a single mother, her seven-year-old daughter and her own parents were all still missing.

Linda March, whose penthouse apartment was ripped apart; Elaine Sabino, a former baton twirler and flight attendant, and Claudio Bonnefoy, a second cousin of the former Chilean president, are also among those unaccounted for.

A woman in white stands in the middle of a circle of people at the beach for a night-time vigil.
The vigil remembered those that died, are missing and those injured after the residential building collapsed last Thursday. (

Reuters: Marco Bello


As darkness fell over the site on Monday, more than 100 people gathered sombrely, some holding candles, a short distance from where one crane stood illuminated against the night sky.

A woman led the group in a meditation and someone sounded a gong. Behind them, in enormous letters, the word "HOPE" had been inscribed in the sand.

Some relatives of the missing have provided DNA samples to officials for use in positively identifying remains.


High-risk rescue mission

The pancake collapse of the building left layer upon layer of intertwined debris, frustrating efforts to reach anyone who may have survived in a pocket of space.

"Every time there's an action, there's a reaction," Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah said during a news conference.

"It's not an issue of we could just attach a couple of cords to a concrete boulder and lift it and call it a day."

Underscoring the risks of the work, he noted that families who rode buses to visit the site on Sunday witnessed a rescuer tumble 25 feet down the pile. Workers and victims must both be considered, he said.

"It's going to take time … It's not going to happen overnight. It's a 12-story building."

Eight unifiormed resuce workers in hard hats scan the rubble and debris left behind by a collapsed building.
Rescue crews have found spaces large enough for people to stay alive in.(

Reuters: Marco Bello


Rescuers not giving up hope

Jimmy Patronis, Florida's chief financial officer and state fire marshal, said it was the largest deployment of such resources in Florida history that was not due to a hurricane.

"They're working around the clock," Mr Patronis said.

Authorities on Monday insisted they were not losing hope.

Andy Alvarez, a deputy incident commander with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, told ABC's "Good Morning America" that rescuers have been able to find some voids, or spaces, inside the wreckage, mostly in the basement and the parking garage.

"We have been able to tunnel through the building," Mr Alvarez said.

"This is a frantic search to seek that hope, that miracle, to see who we can bring out of this building alive."

Cause of collapse may take years to investigate 

The cause of the collapse at the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, near Miami, remains under investigation.

The building collapsed just days before a deadline for condo owners to start making steep payments toward more than $US9 million ($12 million) in repairs that had been recommended nearly three years earlier, in a report that warned of "major structural damage."

A federal team of scientists and engineers are conducting a preliminary investigation at the site and will determine whether to launch a full probe of what caused the building to come down.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology also investigated disasters such as the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11, Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico and a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people.

Previous investigations have taken years to complete.

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How did a Miami Beach apartment block that withstood hurricanes for decades suddenly implode?


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2021-06-29 16:45:16Z

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