The remaining portion of a condo building in Surfside, Florida, was brought down using explosives last night around 10 p.m. eastern. The other part of the Champlain Towers structure collapsed on June 24 resulting in 24 confirmed deaths, with 121 people still unaccounted for as of yesterday.
County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the demolition of the remaining portion of the building was a necessary step for crews to continue their search for any possible survivors of the disaster.
Search crews will resume sifting through the rubble after the demolition as soon as they receive an “all clear” signal from site managers.
Cava and other officials have pledged that search efforts will continue in hopes of finding survivors even though the odds of finding anyone still alive after more than a week were unfavorable.
This rescue effort, as far as I’m concerned, will go on until everybody is pulled out of that debris,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett.
Concerns had developed in recent days that the still-standing portion of the building was unsafe and could have endangered search crews as they worked at the site.
The situation was made more uncertain by the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa, which was heading toward Florida after barreling through the Caribbean over the past several days – although the worst of the storm was expected to travel west of Surfside.