New York: Tuesday, July 06, 2021
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Searchers At Collapsed Florida Condo ‘Not Seeing Anything Positive’

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Officials overseeing the search on the web site of the Florida condominium collapse sounded more and more somber Tuesday in regards to the prospects for locating anybody alive, saying they’ve detected no new indicators of life within the rubble because the dea-th toll climbed to 36.

Crews in yellow helmets and blue jumpsuits searched the particles for a thirteenth day whereas wind and rain from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Elsa sophisticated their efforts. Video launched by the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Department confirmed staff lugging pickaxes and energy saws by piles of concrete rubble barbed with snapped metal rebar. Other searchers could possibly be seen digging with gloved fingers by pulverized concrete and dumping shovels of particles into massive buckets.

Search-and-rescue staff continued to search for open areas the place individuals could be discovered alive almost two weeks after the catastrophe struck on the Champlain Towers South constructing in Surfside.

“We’re actively searching as aggressively as we can,” Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky mentioned at a information convention. But he added: “Unfortunately, we are not seeing anything positive. The key things — void spaces, living spaces — we’re not seeing anything like that.”

While officers nonetheless name the efforts a search-and-rescue operation, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava mentioned households of these nonetheless lacking are making ready for information of “tragic loss.”

“I think everybody will be ready when it’s time to move to the next phase,” mentioned Levine Cava, who careworn that crews would use the identical care as they undergo the rubble even after their focus shifts from looking for survivors to recovering the de-ad.

“Really, you will not see a difference,” she mentioned. “We will carefully search for bodies and belongings, and to catalog and respectfully deal with any remains that we find.”

No one has been rescued alive for the reason that first hours after the collapse, which struck early on June 24, when lots of the constructing’s residents have been asleep.

Officials introduced Tuesday that groups had recovered eight further our bodies — the very best one-day whole for the reason that collapse. More than 100 individuals stay unaccounted for.

Severe climate from Elsa threatened to hinder search efforts. Lightning pressured rescuers to pause their work for 2 hours early Tuesday, Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah mentioned. And stiff winds of 20 mph (32 kph), with stronger gusts, hampered efforts to maneuver heavy particles with cranes, officers mentioned.

However, the storm’s heaviest winds and rain have been anticipated to bypass Surfside and neighboring Miami as Elsa strengthened earlier than making landfall someplace between Tampa Bay and Florida’s Big Bend on a path throughout northern Florida.

“Active search and rescue continued throughout the night, and these teams continue through extremely adverse and challenging conditions,” Levine Cava mentioned. “Through the rain and through the wind, they have continued searching.”

Crews have eliminated 124 tons (112 metric tonnes) of particles from the positioning, Cominsky mentioned.

Workers have been freed to look a broader space for the reason that unstable remaining portion of the apartment constructing was demolished Sunday amid fears that the construction might fall. Officials mentioned the demolition gave rescuers entry to areas that have been beforehand closed off, together with bedrooms the place individuals have been believed to be sleeping on the time of the catastrophe.

Associated Press writers Adriana Gomez Licon in Miami; Freida Frisaro in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Bobby Caina Calvan in Tallahassee, Florida; Cody Jackson in Surfside, Florida; and Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia, contributed to this report.

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