Scores nonetheless lacking on Day 7 of rescue
Search and Rescue teams look for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 29, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.
Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images
More than 140 people remain missing nearly one week into a search-and-rescue operation amid the rubble of a collapsed 12-story condominium complex in Surfside, Florida.
The likelihood of finding more living people in the wreckage continued to diminish as first responders’ efforts stretched into their 7th day. No survivors have been pulled alive from the site since a few hours after nearly half of Champlain Towers South, a 40-year-old, 136-unit condo building, caved in last Thursday.
The remains of 12 people have so far been recovered from the disaster area, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, while 149 people were still missing.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to the site on Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week.
The Bidens plan to personally thank first responders, rescue teams and “everyone who’s been working tirelessly around the clock,” Psaki told reporters Tuesday.
In the wake of the collapse, Surfside authorities released a 2018 survey report in which an engineer warned that the building’s waterproofing was causing “major structural damage” and needed to be replaced.
“Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” the report said.
That report from Morabito Consultants also found “abundant cracking and spalling” in the concrete columns, beams and walls of the parking garage.
The specific cause of the cave-in is still unknown.
Levine Cava on Saturday announced a full investigation, and said she would direct the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources to immediately start a 30-day audit of all residential properties above four stories that are 40 years old or older and “have not completed the process to identify and address any issues.”
Biden supports a federal probe into the matter, Psaki said this week.
This is developing news. Please check back for updates.
—Reuters contributed to this report.