Rescue teams continue to work this Saturday on the collapse of an apartment building in Surfside, Miami, while a “giant” fire inside the rubble is making it difficult to find survivors, authorities said.
“We have found a very large fire and we are trying to put it out to continue with the search, the fire is still alive.” Said Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, at a press conference today.
According to the councilor, the number of fatalities and missing persons have not changed so far: 4 and 159, respectively, although the focus today remains the same, the search for survivors.
At the press conference, where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was also present, it was reported that the rescue crews “they have not stopped removing debris to search for people” all night long.
“This has been gigantic for us, we are moving in rescue operations to continue with the search.” Said the mayor and said that modern technology such as infrared lights and sound detection devices are used to locate survivors.
It was also confirmed that the workers made a drainage ditch in the middle of the mountain of concrete rubble and iron, to “isolate smoke and fire”. Said the mayor.
Aerial views of local television media this morning show two powerful jets of water aimed at the debris left by the collapse, which occurred last Thursday in a wing of the Champlain Towers apartment building.
The property, with 12 floors and 136 apartments and located on the beachfront, was inaugurated in 1981 and had just passed a mandatory inspection for its 40 years.
In total, 55 apartments in the building collapsed while people slept.
Meanwhile, relatives of the disappeared who are housed in a hotel in north Miami Beach, a few blocks away from the incident, watch the debris removal work on television, in which they can see how a huge excavator tears off pieces of structure from the mountain of dough.
On the third day of the search, the chances of finding people alive are diminishing, although, according to the authorities, “There is still hope”.
“The approach has not changed at all, we are looking for living people, the search has not stopped all night”, stated Levine Cava, while, next to him, the state governor mentioned “a very difficult and chaotic situation” for rescuers.
The councilor advanced that there are federal investigations underway to determine the causes of the collapse, which occurred in a matter of seconds was captured by a security camera.
A part of this building collapsed like a box of cards, where dozens of people were supposedly, many from Latin American countries who were on vacation.
Also, the county is going to make sure all buildings are safe “and that this does not happen again”. Levine Cava said.
“I ordered all buildings with 5 stories or more to be reviewed for certification and we will review everything within 30 days.” Announced the mayor.
Several local media echo this Saturday of a 2018 inspection report to the damaged building, where a “serious error” of construction in the pool area is realized, according to the Miami Herald.
In the report on the Champlain Towers South condominium, located in the city of Surfside, adjacent to Miami Beach, an engineer noted a “major mistake” dating back to the origin of the building, where the lack of adequate drainage on the pool deck had caused “major structural damage”.