Rescue workers searching for the debris of a sunken condominium in a Miami suburb in the southern U.S. state of Florida continued to search for survivors Friday, as officials increased the number of people without counting to 159 and u confirmed the number of deaths at four.
With several firefighters working at night both from below and on top of the wreckage of the ship, hopes rested on the speed of the crew using dogs and microphones to wander between the wrecks to complete their manly but delicate mission. .
“It’s heartbreaking but our only focus right now is search and rescue, it’s everything we do, search and save, search and save, search and save 24 hours a day,” Mayor Charles Burkett told NPR on Friday.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters that three other bodies were pulled from the wreckage during the night. Another person was killed Thursday. The mayor also increased the number of presumed missing persons by 99.
“Our unknown number has gone up to 159. In addition, we can tragically announce that the death toll is now four,” Levine Cava said during a press conference.
On Thursday morning, a large portion of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, a small suburb north of Miami Beach – a barrier island city across Biscayne Bay from the city of Miami – crashed to the ground, they said. authority.
With researchers using saws and hammers to look for pockets large enough to hold a person, Levine Cava said there was always hope of finding people alive.
The rubble is three storeys high, and officials say the building is “sloping” during the collapse, with the floors flattened one above the other.
The shortcomings of what was left of the 12-story Champlain Towers South include people from around the world.
Argentine Dr. Andres Galfrascoli, her husband, Fabian Nunez, and their 6-year-old daughter, Sofia, had spent Wednesday night in an apartment of a friend, Nicolas Fernandez.
Galfrascoli, a plastic surgeon from Buenos Aires, and Nunez, a theater and accounting producer, had come to Florida to get away from a COVID-19 renaissance in Argentina and its tight blocks. They had worked hard to adopt Sofia, Fernandez said.
“Every day, they chose the worst to stay here,” Fernandez said. “I hope that’s not the case, but if they die like that, it would be so unfair.”
Foreign ministers and consulates of four other South American countries say 22 of their citizens were missing in the collapse: nine from Argentina, six from Paraguay, four from Venezuela and three from Uruguay.
Paraguayans include Sophia Lopez Moreira – the sister of First Lady Silvana Abdo and the sister-in-law of President Mario Abdo Benitez – and her family.
Israeli media have said that the country’s consul general in Miami, Maor Elbaz, believes that 20 citizens of that country have disappeared.
Several people were at the reunion center set up near the crash site early Friday morning, awaiting results of DNA swabs that could help identify the victims.
Officials said no cause of the crash has been determined.
The video of the collapse showed that the center of the building appears to fall first and a section closer to the oscillating ocean and that it falls seconds later, when a huge cloud of dust engulfed the neighborhood.
Television video earlier Friday showed crews still battling fire flareups over piles of rubble. Intermittent rain over South Florida also impedes research.
This drone video, shared with me by a state official in Florida, shows where the crashed condo in Surfside is near the beach. There are more than 150 specialized firefighters out there who are building a tunnel under the collapsed building to try and reach the victims as well. pic.twitter.com/Hg4WBZgpaV
– David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) June 25, 2021
Films captured by a nearby security camera show an entire side of the building, built in 1981, that suddenly bends in two sections, one after the other, around 1 and a half hours (0530 GMT), flashing clouds of dust.
U.S. President Joe Biden has approved a statement of urgency in the state of Florida and ordered federal assistance to complement state and local response efforts.