At Collapsed Condo Building, a Grim, Risky Search Continues

11 dead, 150 believed to be missing in Surfside
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2021 1:49 AM CDT
After Deadly Building Collapse in Florida, a Risky Search
Large cranes are used to remove slabs of concrete from the debris field at Champlain Towers South residential tower, Monday, June 28, 2021 in Surfside, Fla.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

The death toll in the building collapse in Surfside, Fla., has reached 11, with 150 still unaccounted for. NBC Miami has names and photographs of the people whose bodies have been pulled from the rubble. The excruciating wait for news entered its sixth day Tuesday, with search and rescue efforts continuing around the clock, though the AP reports no one has been pulled from the wreckage alive since just hours after Champlain Towers South crumbled early Thursday. Even so, the search has not yet transitioned to a recovery effort, a decision officials say will be heartwrenching. The New York Times offers an extensive look at the search effort, which it calls "dangerous," noting that if too many people stand on the pile at once, the air pockets in the rubble could collapse further.

On Sunday, one worker fell 25 feet down the pile. Thunderstorms are also hampering the effort. And workers must sift through steel and concrete boulders, in some cases requiring the use of heavy machinery. It won't be clear for quite some time what caused the collapse, but the Miami Herald has photos from a commercial pool contractor who had just visited the building last Tuesday and took pictures of standing water, cracked concrete, and corroded rebar in the underground parking garage, particularly underneath the pool deck. Elsewhere in Florida, residential buildings are being hit with unsafe structure notices. But at Champlain Towers North, the collapsed building's sister structure, many residents are staying put, the AP reports. They say their building has not experienced the same issues residents in the south tower long complained about. (More Florida condo collapse stories.)

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