Family and friends of the 150 people still missing after a 佛罗里达 condominium collapsed last week faced a sixth wrenching day of waiting on Tuesday, as search and rescue crews continued to sift through the mangled remains of Champlain South Towers.
The search for survivors in the Miami suburb of Surfside went on without much cause for hope. None have been rescued from the rubble since Thursday and two more bodies were recovered on Monday, putting the confirmed death toll at 11.
“We have people waiting and waiting and waiting for news,” the Miami-Dade mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, told reporters.
“We have them coping with the news that they might not have their loved ones come out alive and still hope against hope that they will. They’re learning that some of their loved ones will come out as body parts. This is the kind of information that is just excruciating for everyone.”
Officials and experienced rescuers have urged people to remain hopeful and emphasized it is still a rescue operation.
Families of the missing have been invited to the rescue site to observe and Levine Cava said authorities have been in frequent and detailed contact with them.
“Some are feeling more hopeful, some less hopeful, because we do not have definitive answers,“ 她说. “We give them the facts. We take them to the site.”
Late on Monday, officials identified three more victims: Marcus Joseph Guara, 52, Michael David Altman, 50 and Frank Kleiman, 55. Kleiman’s wife, Ana Ortiz, 46, and her son, Luis Bermúdez, 26, also died in the collapse.
The community held a vigil on Monday night and created memorials on the beach and along fences surrounding the collapsed tower. The fences are decorated with photos, flowers and handmade signs. Rescuers have also been leaving objects such as photos and toys they find in the debris at the memorial.
Elite rescue teams are assisting with the search, 包括 the famed Topos, a volunteer group formed in response to Mexico City’s 1985 earthquake, and members of the Israel Defense Forces.
Such efforts have been complicated by weather conditions, including heavy rain on Monday.
The search and rescue process is necessarily slow and deliberate: crews must balance the urgency of rescue with the chance that abrupt moves could collapse voids in the debris that may be shielding survivors.
“Every time there’s an action, there’s a reaction,” Miami-Dade assistant fire chief Raide Jadallah said on Monday. “It’s not an issue of we could just attach a couple of cords to a concrete boulder and lift it and call it a day.”
Rescuers are using heavy machinery to move larger pieces of concrete.
Speculation is mounting over reports of flooding in the basement-level parking garage, but it will likely take months to determine why a portion of the tower fell suddenly around 1.30am last Thursday.
A pool contractor who visited the building 36 hours before the collapse told the Miami-Herald he saw unusual levels of standing water in the garage.
The contractor, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper the deepest puddle he saw was near an area of the building 一种 2018 inspection report identified as having a “major error” in its original design.
这 2018 report did not indicate the structure was at risk of collapse, but recommended that “concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion.”
Federal, state and local agencies have been deployed to the scene and Joe Biden said on Monday he supports an extensive investigation.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: “We want to play any constructive role we can play with federal resources in getting to the bottom of it and preventing it from happening in the future.”