MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Surfside condo collapse is not only one of the worst disasters in South Florida, but also in our country’s history.
“This is the third largest building failure in the history of the United States – only third to Oklahoma and New York City – so we are doing everything that we can,” said Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s chief financial officer.
He was referring to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the Twin Towers in 2001.
Tuesday led to the discovery of another body.
“Unfortunately, one additional victim was recovered. So the number of deceased is now at 12,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
The number of unaccounted for now stands at 149. But the search and rescue efforts are full force.
“We’ve got the same number men and women working just on that one-acre site that worked in the entirety of Hurricane Michael, which is a Cat 5 storm across 12 counties,” Patronis said.
The clearing of this debris and tunneling must be done carefully to prevent falling pieces from causing a shift and injuring any workers or possible survivors underneath.
“This whole scene that we are working on, I can’t emphasize enough the dangers we are in countering,” said Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky. “So I’ve definitely been monitoring. We will continue to monitor. Our teams have structural engineers.”
This is the first time in Florida’s history that all eight Urban Search and Rescue teams have been deployed, outside of hurricane response efforts. Also including help from around the world.
“When the Israelis who deal with these types of events through mass explosions and missile events say we would do it the same way Florida does, it definitely gives me a sense of pride that these guys are doing it right,” said Patronis.
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Over 3 million pounds of debris has been removed, and is being taken for evidence processing.