Rubble hangs from a partially collapsed building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.
- The search for the collapsed Miami building has resumed.
- For safety reasons, it was previously suspended.
- The confirmed death toll is 18, and 145 people are still missing.
The grim and painstaking search for victims in the ruins of partially collapsed apartment buildings in the Miami area, temporarily suspended due to safety issues, has now resumed more cautious and close attention to the hurricane heading towards Florida.
The confirmed death toll is 18, and another 145 people are still missing, fearing being buried under tons of powdered concrete, twisted metal and debris, as the search lasted early Friday until the ninth day.
Two of the dead were children aged 4 and 10 years old.
Authorities stopped rescue and recovery efforts early on Thursday because they feared that part of the tall building that was still standing might collapse on search personnel in the debris area.
However, Alan Kominsky, the head of fire and rescue in Miami-Dade County, told reporters on Thursday night that despite a new set of precautions, the operation was resumed approximately 15 hours after it was deemed safe. begin.
Kominsky said that under the new search plan, the team now limits their work to three of the nine grids delineated in the ruins of the 12-story Champlain Tanan apartment.
Authorities are eager to make as much progress as possible before the expected arrival of Elsa, which was strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2021 season on Friday due to threats to the Caribbean.
According to the Miami National Hurricane Center, the storm may hit South Florida early on Tuesday, before heavy rain and strong winds are expected.
The new search began shortly after US President Joe Biden visited the scene. He spent about three hours comforting the dead and missing persons in the seaside town of Surfside adjacent to Miami Beach. Family members of personnel.
The President also met with emergency personnel and listened to briefings from state and local leaders, including Governor Ron DeSantis, who is widely regarded as a potential Republican White House candidate in 2024.
Democrat Biden told them that he will provide “anything you need” in federal aid, including temporary housing for survivors.
Biden’s personal tragic experience helped define his political role. He acknowledged that the prospects for finding more survivors are changing day by day, but said there may still be people alive.
“Hope stays forever,” he said at a press conference at the nearby St. Regis Hotel, after meeting privately with affected families and before watching flowers and posters woven into a fence as a temporary monument near the ruins.
“The whole country is mourning for these families. They see it on TV every day that they are going through hell,” he told reporters.
I was sitting with a woman who had lost her husband and little boy, not knowing what to do.
About half of the 136-unit building collapsed in the middle of the night, no one was rescued from the collapsed building because the residents were sleeping.
Investigators have not yet determined what caused this 40-year-old apartment building to collapse into a pile in the deadliest building collapse in American history.
But the 2018 engineering report prepared before the building safety recertification process found that structural defects in the apartment building are now the focus of various investigations, including grand jury inspections.
Just in April of this year, the chairman of the apartment association warned residents in a letter that engineers found that the severe concrete damage around the bottom of the building had “severely worsened”.