Fears death toll from Miami building collapse may rise

At least 99 people were still unaccounted for following the partial collapse on Thursday of a residential building just north of Miami.

One person was confirmed killed in the collapse, but there are fears the death toll could rise as rescue crews continue searching and clearing the site through the night.

Daniella Levine Cava, the mayor of Miami-Dade county, told a press conference that “we still have at least 99 who are unaccounted for”, but that 102 people had been accounted for, which she described as “very encouraging”.

Rescue authorities responded to a call in the early hours of Thursday morning and arrived in the beachfront town of Surfside to find the northeast section of the 12-storey Champlain Towers South had collapsed.

Officials said that rescuers had pulled 35 occupants out of the building and two from the debris. Ray Jadallah, chief of operations at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said that from about 6am, rescue crews shifted their attention from inside the building to underneath the rubble. Jadallah described the efforts as a slow and dangerous process and said that sonar, cameras and rescue dogs were being used at the top of the rubble to search for anyone trapped beneath.

“We did receive sounds. Not necessarily people talking, but sounds; what sounds like people banging. Not people, but the possibility of a banging,” Jadallah told a press conference. “Short of that we haven’t heard any voices coming from the pile.”

Officials said it was too soon to know what caused the collapse of the condo tower, which was built in the early 1980s. Alfredo Ramirez, director of the Miami-Dade county police department, said his detectives, as well as state and federal authorities, would commence an investigation into possible causes once the search and rescue operations were completed.

Ron DeSantis, Florida governor, late on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade county, having been urged by Levine Cava earlier in the day to do so. The declaration clears the way for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to come to the site and provide assistance to rescue crews and affected families.

President Joe Biden had said earlier on Thursday that the government was “ready to move with federal resources immediately” but he was waiting for the governor to ask or declare an emergency.

Source link

Good Ads

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please Disable AdBlock