The search and rescue efforts at a Miami-area condo building that collapsed on the morning of June 24 have shifted from a rescue to a recovery effort as 86 people remain unaccounted for, officials said Wednesday.
The disaster was at the Champlain Towers South condominium, in the small beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach. Approximately 55 of the ocean-front complex’s 136 units were destroyed, per officials.
Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told families the devastating news Wednesday, an announcement that many families of the missing have been expecting for days. “He said, “Our sole responsibility at this point is to bring closure.” Jadallah added, “Workers have concluded there was no chance of life.”
Emergency teams would remove rescue dogs and sound devices but would continue to search through the rubble for the bodies of victims, Jadallah also told the families at the private briefing.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava fought back tears Wednesday as she announced that 10 more bodies had been found, saying 32 of the victims had been identified and their family members notified.
“Our commitment to this mission is deeply personal,” Levine Cava said of the rescue teams that have been working around the clock for two weeks. “We are so grateful to these everyday heroes. They are superheroes.”
Governor Ron DeSantis said in his statement Wednesday, “More than 500 first responders came from across the state and nation. First responders are invested in this mission. You gotta pull these guys off that pile, they want to be there. It is something really deep in them in terms of accomplishing the mission.”
DeSantis also said, “Florida residents are grieving deeply. “I don’t think the state is ever quite going to be the same.”
This is an ongoing event of tragedy and will be updated as developments occur.