Rescue efforts at collapsed Florida apartment block resume after demolition
Miami, US, Jul 5 (EFE).- The remaining section of the condominium that partially collapsed late last month in the beachside Florida town of Surfside has been demolished to allow rescue efforts to resume.
Controlled detonations were carried out at 10:30pm local time on Sunday (3:00am Monday GMT) to bring down the standing section of the ill-fated building, which had become a safety hazard.
Rescuers continue to search for the 121 people still unaccounted for after the sudden, partial collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South apartment blocks in the earlier hours of June 24. To date, Miami-Dade County authorities have confirmed 24 deaths.
Around half of the condo’s 136 blocks were destroyed by the collapse.
The rescue efforts have for days been taking place under damaged remains of the doomed structure, an exposed cross-section of apartment blocks complete with bunk beds and severed air conditioning cables.
Miami-Dade officials took the decision to demolish the rest of Champlain Towers South due to the forecasted arrival of stormy weather.
The demolition was carried out during the 4th July Independence Day festivities, which meant the controlled explosions were covered up by the sound of fireworks in the vicinity, local media reported.
Almost 200 people have been accounted for after the partial collapse of the building. Most lost all of their belongings in the demolition.
The few items of value recovered by rescuers will be held and returned to their owners or the families of victims, Miami-Dade mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, said.
Before the demolition took place, authorities searched the rubble for household pets that may have survived the tragedy but none were found.