US to demolish partially collapsed condo complex near Miami Beach
The demolition of the remains of the partially collapsed condo complex near Miami Beach could happen as soon as Sunday, officials said, in an effort to tear down the unsafe structure before the arrival of tropical storm Elsa churning off Florida.
Two more people were found dead on Saturday in the rubble of the 12-storey Champlain Towers South in the community of Surfside, officials said at a news conference, bringing the total to 24 deceased and 124 missing feared dead, as the search and rescue operations continue for more than a week.
Miami-Dade fire chief Alan Cominsky said the demolition of what was left standing of the towers had to take place as soon as possible because Elsa is forecast to reach southern Florida on Monday.
“We’d have no control of where it lands,” he said.
Miami-Dade county mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the families of the victims have been told of the decision and that, “they understand”.
Worries that the remaining section of the apartment complex was dangerously unstable halted search and rescue efforts at the scene for much of Thursday.
No survivors have been pulled alive from the ruins since the first few hours after the tower partially caved in on itself early on June 24.
Investigators have not determined what caused the 40-year-old complex to collapse.
A 2018 engineering report found structural deficiencies that are now the focus of inquiries that include a grand jury examination.