Thursday, July 8th, 2021
Only dead people under the rubble
Rescue workers finish search in Surfside
They searched for people buried day and night – and found only corpses. Now the emergency services in Miami have to face a sad reality: There is no longer any chance of finding survivors. All that remains is the belief in a miracle.
Two weeks after the dramatic collapse of a residential building near Miami, the authorities have little hope of finding survivors in the rubble. The chance that someone is still alive is almost zero, said the mayor of Surfside, Charles Burkett, on Wednesday evening (local time). The experts came to this conclusion. It was “a heartbreaking day,” he said. “But I haven’t lost hope that there might be another miracle.” But one is now in the process of moving from a rescue to a salvage operation.
Another eight bodies had been recovered from the rubble in the past few hours. The official death toll is now 54. Dozens of people are still missing. After the first few hours after the accident, no more survivors could be recovered. The residential complex with around 130 units collapsed on June 24th in Surfside near Miami for reasons that are still unexplained. Rescuers had tirelessly searched for survivors ever since.
There is no air, no food, the search dogs did not hit and no noises were heard, it said. Experience and expertise now indicated that no one was alive under the rubble. “We can and will do everything in our power to identify all victims and reassure families at this time of unimaginable grief,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava. She had already struggled to calm down at a press conference that morning. The bodies will now continue to be recovered, but all options have been exhausted in rescuing potential survivors.
Difficult work for the rescue workers
The rescuers had faced numerous obstacles in the past few weeks. Since the house had only partially collapsed, a part of the building that was still standing threatened to topple over. This was deliberately blown up on Sunday evening. After all, the mission had to be briefly interrupted in the end because the foothills of the tropical storm “Elsa” brought thunderstorms and strong winds. “You are heroes,” said Mayor Levine-Cava to the emergency services.
The cause of the terrible disaster is still unclear. Debris was taken to a specific warehouse and examined by experts there. Authorities are also taking a closer look at the sister building of the collapsed Champlain South Tower – the Champlain North Tower. This was built by the same construction company at the same time – according to the same plans.