Sunday June 27th 2021
After a partial collapse in Miami
Fifth victim identified in Florida
Rescue workers are still looking for people buried in Miami. But with every hour the probability of getting someone alive decreases. Relatives of missing people criticize that not enough is being done. We now know who the fifth victim is.
The death toll from the partial collapse of a high-rise apartment building in Florida this week has risen to five. The search and rescue teams found another body in the rubble of the building on Saturday, Miami Dade district administration chief Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference. Thus, the number of missing people fell to 156.
The rescue workers are currently looking for survivors of the accident under high pressure. The search work was made more difficult on Saturday by the outbreak of a fire on the premises. In the meantime, the flames have been pushed back, it said on Saturday evening (local time). With every hour, however, the hope of being able to rescue buried victims still decreases. A makeshift memorial with candles, flowers and photos of missing people was built near the site of the accident.
Frustration spread among the relatives of missing persons: “Enough is not being done,” said Mike Salberg, who flew to Miami from New York after the disaster because five family members, including his parents, are missing.
Surprised in sleep
The twelve-story Champlain Tower residential building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach, collapsed on Thursday night. Some residents were able to take the stairs to safety or were rescued from balconies. It is feared that many were surprised by the collapse in their sleep.
A total of 55 apartments were affected by the collapse. Until Saturday it was still unclear how many people were in the building at the time of the accident, which also housed many holiday apartments. According to Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, many of the missing come from abroad, including Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Canada stated that at least four Canadians could also be “affected”.
Search for the cause continues
According to media reports, the building near Surfside Beach was built in 1981. According to the authorities, it is still unclear why the building partially collapsed.
A report published by the city of Surfside on Friday from 2018 found “major structural damage” as well as cracks and crumbling in the basement of the building. Accordingly, the expert Frank Morabito called for the damage to be repaired promptly.
Morabito attributed much of the damage to the salty sea air. However, he did not write that the building was in danger of collapsing. A lawyer for the owners told the New York Times that work on the multi-million dollar repairs had “only just begun.”
According to a study by environmental scientist Shimon Wdowinski from Florida International University, signs of subsidence were also found at the site in the mid-1990s. “I don’t know if the collapse was foreseeable. But we found that the building was moving at the time,” Wdowinski told CNN.