‘Near zero’ hope of survivors after Miami tower collapse

·2-min read
Search and rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble at the Champlain Towers (AP)
Search and rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble at the Champlain Towers (AP)

The chance of finding survivors in the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in Florida is “near zero”, according to local officials.

The search and rescue mission has now become a recovery effort about two weeks after the 12-storey Champlain Towers South, Surfside, collapsed in the middle of the night.

Some 60 victims have been found while 80 remain missing, a news conference was told on Wednesday.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said: “Today’s news is extremely tough. We’ve all worked passionately day and night for two weeks to save lives.

“The announcement today comes as a result of a consensus by those closest to the rescue efforts that the possibility of someone still alive is near zero.

“And while there seems to be no chance of finding life in the rubble, a miracle is still possible.”

There have been no survivors found since the building’s initial collapse, with many victims found in their beds according to rescue crews.

The teams had been working in continuous 12-hour shifts and were being helped by crews from Israel and Mexico.

A private meeting was held on Wednesday between families of the missing and Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah.

It was confirmed the rescue mission was coming to an end.

Rescuers have been filling buckets with concrete by hand, and passing them down a line as they remove debris, BBC News reported.

It is understood that the rubble is being kept in a state warehouse for further inspection.

The mission has been brought to a halt several times, due to instability in the mound of rubble.

It has also been hampered by Tropical Storm Elsa, which caused landfall in Florida on Wednesday.

A grand jury investigation has been launched to try to determine the reason for the June 24 collapse.

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