Emergencies – After a building collapse in Florida, the number of victims could increase – Panorama

Miami (AP) – After the partial collapse of a twelve-story residential building in the US state of Florida, there are growing fears that the number of victims could increase significantly.

Authorities confirmed four dead today. 159 people were missing, as the mayor of Miami-Dade district, Daniella Levine Cava, said at a press conference. “Unfortunately it was a tragic night.”

Rescue teams were in action with sniffer dogs, special cameras, listening devices and heavy equipment. Every now and then knocking noises can be heard from the meter-high mountains of rubble, reported US media. Several people were injured in the accident in the city of Surfside near Miami Beach. More than 35 people were saved.

“Nothing else matters. We’re not giving up,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett. The rescuers are on duty around the clock. However, rain made the search more difficult. “This is heartbreaking because to me it means we won’t be as successful in finding survivors as we’d like to be.”

Councilor Charles Kesl told CNN that he hoped for more survivors. “Realistically, however, I am not sure how many or whether anyone will be rescued and found alive.” Mayor Cava, looking at the search, said: “Every minute counts.” The authorities emphasized that the missing persons do not necessarily all have to have been in the building. Local media reported that DNA samples were taken from relatives to identify victims.

To release additional funds and material after the disaster, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency. This was confirmed by President Joe Biden on Friday so that federal funds can also be made available. The disaster control agency FEMA is also involved. Biden had already emphasized on Thursday that wherever the federal government could help, it would do so. “We are there.”

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Surprised by the misfortune in his sleep

The building near the beach with around 130 residential units had partially collapsed on Thursday night (local time). The misfortune surprised people in their sleep. The Miami Herald newspaper published a video from a security camera showing first one and then another part of the L-shaped building collapsing. The pictures were reminiscent of the scenes in New York during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the paper wrote.

The cause of the accident at Surfside remains a mystery. The residential complex known as Champlain Towers South from the 1980s was only recently examined as part of a routine inspection by experts, said Councilor Kesl.

Professor Shimon Wdowinski of Florida International University (FIU) told local media that he found in an investigation last year that the building, which was built in a wetland area, had sunk several millimeters in the 1990s. That alone hardly triggered the collapse, but it may have contributed to it. “When one part of the building moves in relation to the other, it can create tension and cracks,” he said.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210625-99-136801 / 9

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