Rescue workers stop searching for survivors in high-rise ruins in Florida

Updated on July 8, 2021, 9:30 a.m.

  • About two weeks after the partial collapse of a high-rise apartment building in Florida, the rescue workers stopped looking for survivors.
  • The confirmed death toll had previously increased to 54.
  • 86 people are still believed to be under the rubble.

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Two weeks after the partial collapse of a high-rise apartment building in Florida, the rescue workers stopped looking for survivors. The “extremely difficult decision” had been made that the helpers would concentrate on the rescue work from Thursday, said the Miami Dade district administration chief Daniella Levine Cava on Wednesday. The number of confirmed fatalities is 54. Dozens of people are still missing.

The end of the search for survivors filled her with “deep sadness,” said Levine Cava. However, all available options have been exhausted for search and rescue operations.

Since the accident, the emergency services had recovered dozens of bodies from the rubble of the building in the nearby Miami city of Surfside. Apart from one boy who was rescued on the day of the collapse, they were unable to track down any survivors. The fate of 84 people is still unclear. According to Levine Cava, the investigators are trying to further clarify whether they were all actually in the skyscraper at the time of the accident.

House collapse in Florida: search with sniffer dogs

The search parties had searched for the missing persons with the support of sniffer dogs and heavy equipment over the past two weeks. Experts from Mexico and Israel also took part. At the weekend, the remains of the partially collapsed residential high-rise were blown up in a controlled manner. Due to the tropical storm “Elsa”, which had meanwhile been upgraded to a hurricane, the remnants of the building were also threatened with collapse. The demolition allowed the emergency services to penetrate into new search areas, said Levine Cava.

The twelve-story residential building Champlain Towers South had partially collapsed on the night of June 24th. The exact cause of the accident is still unknown. However, in 2018 an expert report had already found “major structural damage” to the building, which was completed in 1981. (afp / kad)

The remains of the building of the partially collapsed residential complex in Miami were blown up in a controlled manner late on Sunday evening (local time). The instability of the ruins was dangerous and hindered the progress of the rescue operation in the part that collapsed eleven days ago, the mayor of the Miami-Dade district, Daniella Levine Cava, had previously said. Photo credit: imago images / UPI Photo / GARY I ROTHSTEIN

Teaserbild: © imago images/ZUMA Wire/Miami-Dade Fire Rescue via


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