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Rescuers have found four additional victims at the partial building collapse site in Surfside after the demolition of the remaining part of the building.
Monday morning, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced another three victims had been found in the rubble overnight, as the 12th day of search and rescue efforts got underway.
“The demolition began at 10:30 p.m.,” said Levine Cava. “Since the first responders were able to resume their work on the collapse last night, we have very sadly recovered three additional victims.”
Just after 6:30 p.m., the mayor confirmed crews found a fourth body.
“Through the teams’ ongoing search efforts today, we have recovered another victim,” she said.
The discoveries bring the total number of dead to 28.
Ingrid Ainsworth, 66, and Tzvi Ainsworth, 68, did not survive.
“Because of this kind of demolition, we have to work very fast,” said Israeli National Rescue Unit Colonel Golan Vach.
Vach is part of the Special Israeli Delegation Team who came to Surfside last week to assist in rescue and recovery.
Sunday night’s implosion included controlled explosives planted at the base of the building.
“The building’s down and we can work at 100% and utilize all of our tools where we couldn’t before,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett.
“The teams have not removed over 4.8 million pounds of concrete from the pile,” said Levine Cava.
Levine Cava said rescue teams encountered inclement weather due to the feeder bands from Tropical Storm Elsa.
“The bad weather, unfortunately, has caused some temporary pauses of the work,” she said, “specifically lightning, which is not safe for conducting the search effort. It does force us to stop to protect the safety of our first responders.”
“With all the debris and all the components that could be scooped up, our concern is protecting our personnel,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Fire Chief Alan Cominsky. “We don’t want anyone struck by any flying debris.”
The group has since resumed search and rescue efforts.
The call to implode was made after the Champlain Tower South building physically shifted several inches Thursday, a week removed from the June 24 collapse and with emergency crews also fearing what was left would topple, especially as Tropical Storm Elsa approached Florida’s coast.
“It made it difficult for rescuers to get in there and be able to remove some of the heavy equipment,” said Florida Task Force 2 Captain Ignatius Carroll. “So now that that’s been removed, we’re now able to focus on that area.”
As rescuers keep working around the clock, they still have hope in finding survivors.
“We are still full of hope,” said Vach. “This hope keeps us very active as we scale up each day. We wake up in the morning, if we have slept at all, with a lot of energy to find the loved ones.”
The mayor also said 192 people have been accounted for, while 117 remain unaccounted for, and 26 victims have been identified.
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