The confirmed death toll rises to nine as the search continues at the site of a partially collapsed 12-story building near Miami.
More bodies were pulled from the rubble of a partially demolished 12-storey building near Miami, Florida, that death toll from the incident has risen to at least nine on Sunday and more than 150 people remain unaccounted for.
Emergency crews continue to search for potential survivors since the condominium collapsed in the early hours of Thursday in Surfside, a community near Miami. Teams of experts from Israel and Mexico have also joined the research.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters Sunday that the death toll had risen to nine, including one victim killed in hospital.
“We were able to recover four more bodies in the slaughterhouses as well as additional human remains. Today, one victim died in hospital, and we have recovered eight … victims on site,” he said during a press conference .
“So, we confirm today that the death toll is at nine. We have identified four of the victims and alerted the closest relatives.”
As emergency responders continue to sift through the rubble – a process that was hampered Saturday by a fire burning among the debris – questions continue to revolve around what caused the collapse of the condominium.
On Saturday, U.S. media reported that a 2018 engineering report had warned that the building would rest on a cement slab that had “major structural damage” and needed to be repaired extensively. The same report also found “abundance of cracking and spalling” of concrete columns, beams and walls in the garage.
But it remains unclear what caused the collapse.
Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro, reported by Surfside, said six to eight rescue teams were working through the debris and hundreds of other workers were on standby. “Of course there’s a lot of sensitivity here … There’s still hope that there are more survivors buried underneath,” he said.
“We are 80 hours after the collapse, so the news here has not been good, although rescuers have made some progress in recovering the bodies.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have joined local and state authorities at the site, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday.
DeSantis added that a “sister building” near the collapsed tower is also being examined because it was built at the same time and with the same design. A voluntary evacuation order was issued for that other building, and an inspector found no immediately obvious problems.
Fire chief Alan Cominsky told reporters on Sunday that the situation remained “extremely difficult”, but that search and rescue teams were working “without stopping”.
“We do everything we can, look for everything we can, every bit of hope, to see if we can find a living victim,” Cominsky said, adding that heavier equipment – including cranes – was being carried. as we continue, our research will be modified throughout, ”he said.
Meanwhile, the families and loved ones of the building’s missing residents continue to eagerly await the news. Some families of those missing have provided DNA samples to officials while others have reported strict leaks.
Police have released the names of four victims aged 54 to 83 years.
The ship’s resident, Erick de Moura, was supposed to be home when the tower collapsed, but his friend convinced him to spend the night at his place less than 3 km (2 miles) away in Miami Beach, saving him. probably his life.
“Only from God.” For me this is a miracle, ”the 40-year-old Brazilian native told Reuters.