The search is continuing against a pall of receding hope that more people may have died in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside Miami.
By Sunday the death toll had risen to nine with four more bodies recovered, another 10 people injured, and a further 152 still reported as missing.
The Surfside apartment complex collapsed suddenly early last Thursday morning.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said Sunday, “We are not stopping until we pull every resident out of that rubble.”
He said efforts are now focussed on supporting the families of the dead and missing and continuing with the search. The complex was home to people from a wide range of nationalities.
Many who escaped have been giving harrowing accounts of their experience.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Thursday and has brought in search and rescue and engineering experts from the US Army Corp of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA).
An expert team from Israel is also assisting the US search teams.
While the search for any more possible survivors buried in the huge mounds of compressed rubble continues, efforts are also focused on how the 12-story condo could have so suddenly and dramatically disintegrated.
Initial suggestions point to a 2018 report - which was not acted on - in which a building inspector had raised concerns about apparent structural weaknesses in the building’s pool area.
There is also concern about the remaining parts of the 40-year-old multi-building condominium complex which are still standing. Engineers are reported to be worried about their stability as well as that of other nearby properties.
Occupants of several surrounding buildings have been evacuated from their homes as a safety precaution while the ground stability and other factors are assessed.
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