Death toll in Florida apartment complex collapse has risen to 16. The mayor of Miami-Dade said four bodies had been found last night. 147 more people are still missing, Daniella Levine Cava said. It is not known whether they were in the Surfside property when it collapsed.
No one has been saved alive from the rubble so far, but there is still some hope. Rescuers have found openings formed under collapsed balconies. Some of these openings are huge enough to crawl through, but no survivors have been found in them yet.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett has promised in an interview that the rescue teams will not leave anyone behind. “We’re not at the bottom yet. We don’t know what’s there. We’re not going to guess or make a life-or-death decision by just stopping looking for people who might yet be alive under the rubble.” The rubble is shrinking every day, he said. Two specialized teams with dogs are also active.
While emergency services continue to work, images from local media show waste trucks removing debris from the site. Local authorities are currently concerned about debris falling from the remaining portion of the building.
President Joe Biden visits the crash site Thursday with his wife, Jill. “It is an unimaginably difficult time for the families endured by this tragedy,” Biden said earlier.
The cause of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South complex is not yet clear. Three years ago, however, an engineer warned of significant structural damage to the twelve-storey building. In April, the owners association warned that the damage in the car park had worsened and reported damage to the roof. Work would soon start on the forty-year-old complex