Some 150 people remained unaccounted for as the search at the wreckage of a building in Surfside, Florida extended into a fifth day. Rescue teams continue working at the site of the deadly Miami building collapse after the official death toll rose to 11 on Monday.
Huge pieces of rubble from the 12-storey Champlain Towers South building were removed Sunday morning to assist with that search. One problem that impacted the rescue efforts was a fire that’s burning deep within the rubble from the collapse, creating a significant amount of smoke. But authorities were able to get the fire under control on Saturday. Over the weekend, US media reported that a Surfside official assured residents of the now-collapsed condominium that it was “in very good shape”, a month after an engineering report found it had “major structural damage”. Search-and-rescue teams continue to look for survivors, using heavy machinery and their own hands to dig through the smoking rubble, but no one has been pulled alive from the building since Thursday morning, and hope is fading that anyone else could have survived.
On Friday, President Biden declared a state of emergency at the site and authorized FEMA to coordinate disaster-relief efforts. The wing of Champlain Towers South that collapsed included more than 50 homes; so far 136 people who lived or worked in the building have been accounted for.