AP

Mayor: 2 more bodies recovered from collapsed condo building

Jul 3, 2021, 9:43 AM | Updated: 9:44 am
condo colapse...
Search and rescue personnel work atop the rubble at the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of victims remain missing more than a week after it partially collapsed, Friday, July 2, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Saturday two more bodies were found in the rubble of a collapsed condo building, bringing the number of confirmed dead to 24. The number of people who remain unaccounted for in the collapse was 124.

A top Miami-Dade fire official, meanwhile, told family members of people missing in the rubble that demolition workers planned to bring down the remainder of the building on Sunday.

Worries have intensified over the past week that the damaged structure could come tumbling down on its own, endangering the crews below and complicating the search for victims.

Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told family members during a morning briefing that the building would be brought down “as soon as possible. First thing tomorrow.”

But he cautioned that there “may be some hiccups.” A follow-up meeting will be held in the afternoon to finalize details of the demolition, which could be a precarious operation as experts enter the building to bore into the structure to install explosives.

Concerns that the still-standing portion could tumble have curtailed the search in areas close to that section, and shifts detected by monitors early Thursday prompted a 15-hour suspension of the entire search until engineers determined the site was safe to restart.

Jadallah said the remnants of the demolished building would be removed immediately after with the intent of giving rescuers access for the first time to parts of the garage area that is a focus of the search. Such access could give officials a clearer picture of the voids that might exist in the rubble and could possibly harbor survivors.

No one has been rescued since the first hours after the June 24 collapse. The approach of Hurricane Elsa from the Caribbean Sea also raises concerns that strong winds possible in South Florida by late Sunday or early Monday could further destabilize the standing portion of the towers.

The confirmed death toll from the collapse of the condominium building on June 24 stood at 22 early Saturday. Officials reduced the number of missing from 145 to 126 after duplicate names were eliminated and some residents reported missing turned up safe.

The demolition of the building would temporarily suspend search operations, but officials hope not for long. Some families asked to be able to return to the building to retrieve personal belongings, but will not be allowed to do so.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, during a press briefing Saturday, underscored the necessity of bringing the structure down in a controlled manner ahead of the arrival of the storm.
“We have a building here in Surfside that is tottering, it is structurally unsound,” the governor said. “If the building is taken down this will protect our search and rescue teams.”
He also declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s expected arrival early next week.
__
Associated Press reporters Bobby Caina Calvan in Tallahassee, Florida, Terry Spencer in Surfside, Florida, Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida, and Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

TikTok shown on a phone. TikTok is proving influential in poliitics...
DAVID KLEPPER Associated Press

TikTok politics: Candidates turn to it ‘for better or worse’

TikTok isn't just about viral dance challenges anymore, but also a place to shop, learn about beauty, fashion or even politics.
2 days ago
Damage from Hurricane Ian...
ADRIANA GOMEZ-LICON Associated Press

Ian returns to hurricane status, meanwhile floods trap many in Florida

Hours after weakening to a tropical depression while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday evening after emerging over the Atlantic Ocean.
3 days ago
An uprooted tree, toppled by strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Ian, rests in a parking...
CURT ANDERSON Associated Press

Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida as Category 4 storm

About 2.5 million people had been ordered to evacuate the area before the storm hit the coast on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 kph).
4 days ago
The White House to ask for less money to fund border wall...
ACACIA CORONADO and GISELA SALOMON Associated Press

Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US

Last month, Venezuelans surpassed Guatemalans and Hondurans to become the second-largest nationality stopped at the U.S. border after Mexicans.
6 days ago
In Iran, protests have led to violent clashes between citizens and security forces. Protesters pict...
The Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

The scope of Iran's ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, still remains unclear as protesters in more than a dozen cities.
9 days ago
U.S. Capitol pictured. The House just voted on an election law...
MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press

House passes election law overhaul in response to Jan. 6

The bill, which is similar to bipartisan legislation moving through the Senate, would overhaul an arcane 1800s-era statute known as the Electoral Count Act
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Mayor: 2 more bodies recovered from collapsed condo building