News120 people still missing

120 people still missing

Remnants of the collapsed skyscraper in Surfside were blown up

The remains of the partially collapsed residential complex near Miami Beach were deliberately blown up late on Sunday evening. Pictures from Surfside in the US state of Florida showed how the ruin collapsed after loud explosions. “The Champlain South Tower has been blown up,” Miami-Dade district police wrote on Twitter. The action went as planned, said a district spokesman for the “Miami Herald”.

The residential complex with around 130 residential units collapsed on June 24 for reasons that were still unclear. Since then, detection dogs, special cameras and heavy equipment have been used to search for victims practically around the clock. 24 dead have now been recovered. More than 120 people are still missing, although it is unclear how many of them were in the building at the time of the accident.

The demolition was supposed to take place in a few weeks, but it had now been brought forward. The instability of the ruin was dangerous and hindered the rescue operation in the collapsed part, said District Mayor Daniella Levine Cava at the weekend. There were also safety concerns about the foothills of storm “Elsa”, which could trigger violent gusts of wind and heavy rain in southern Florida from Monday.

Before the demolition, residents were asked to stay in their homes and to keep doors and windows closed to protect them from dust and small particles. The rescue operation in the rubble, under which dozens of people are suspected to be buried, was interrupted on Saturday due to preparations for the demolition and should start again afterwards. Experts could now search in areas of the rubble that were previously inaccessible for security reasons.

Since the accident, the residents of the part of the building that was still standing have not been allowed back into their apartments for security reasons – not even to take out personal items before the blast. It had previously been checked whether there were pets in the building, said the mayor, according to the New York Times.

According to experts, the controlled collapse carries the risk that rubble of the already collapsed part of the building could shift, which could endanger possible survivors. No survivors have been recovered from the rubble for the first hours after the collapse. In the meantime, a fire had hindered the search. Heavy rain also repeatedly bothered the search parties. dpa

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