Friday’s collapse of an oceanside condo building into a heap of rubble left around 160 people unaccounted for. Searchers digging through the concrete and metal found that at least four were missing.
Numerous firefighters worked overnight to reach survivors from both under and atop the structure. The hope was that crews using dogs or microphones could quickly complete this difficult, but important task.
Assistant Miami-Dade Fire Chief Raide Jadallah stated, “Everytime we hear a noise, we focus on that area.”
Two large cranes with heavy claws began to remove debris from the pile Friday morning. They created a roar of metal and crashing glass as they collected material and deposited it to the side.
Faydah Bushnaq, amidst the construction, knelt down on the beach next to the remains of the building and scratches “Pray for Their Souls” in the sand.
Bushnaq, a Sterling, Virginia resident, stated that “we were supposed to go on vacation but I don’t have the motivation to have fun.” “It’s the perfect time for me to pray for them.”
Overnight, three more bodies were taken. Freddy Ramirez, Miami-Dade Police director, said that authorities were working closely with the medical examiner’s to identify the victims. Four people were treated in hospitals for eleven injuries.
Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade Mayor, stated that rescuers were in “extreme danger” while going through the rubble.
They are being pelted with debris as they work. She said that although we have structural engineers on-site to make sure they are not hurt, they are still going ahead because they are so motivated and take extraordinary risks on the site every single day.”
Levine Cava stated that there is still hope for finding people alive despite the fact that searchers used jackhammers and saws to find pockets large enough to hold them.
The Champlain Towers South, a 12-story building in South Miami, was missing a loved retired teacher and his wife. Russian Orthodox Jews. Israelis. The sister of Paraguay’s first lady. Other South American women.
Jason Pizzo, a state senator from Miami Beach, told the Miami Herald that he observed tactical teams of six working early Friday to sort through the debris. He claimed that he saw two bodies being taken from him, one in a yellow bag and the other marked. They were taken to the homicide unit tent, which was located along the beach.
Many people remained at a reunification centre set up near the site of the collapse early Friday morning in anticipation of results from DNA swabs that could identify victims.
Officials claimed that no cause has been identified.
The collapse was captured on video. A section near the ocean appeared to fall first, with the middle of the building falling down. Seconds later, a large dust cloud swallowed the area.
Around half of the 130 units in the building were damaged. Rescuers used cherry pickers to rescue at least 35 people from the buildings still intact within the first hour after the collapse. However, with 159 people still missing, rescuers could continue to work for many days.
Early Friday’s television footage showed crews fighting fires on the rubble piles. The search is also being hampered by the intermittent rains in South Florida.
Jadallah stated that although the listening devices in the wreckage did not pick up any voices, they could have detected banging sounds, which gives rescuers hope that some people are still alive. Rescuers tunneled down to the wreckage below, passing through the underground parking garage.
The Champlain was built in Surfside in 1981. It is a small suburb north-of Miami Beach. Personal possessions were evidence that people lost their lives. A bunk bed for children was found precariously perched on the top floor. It was bent, but not broken, and is only inches away from being swept into the rubble. The comforter was found on the floor’s edge. Televisions. Computers. Chairs
Argentines Dr. Andres Galfrascoli and his husband Fabian Nunez spent Wednesday night at the apartment of Nicolas Fernandez with their 6-year-old daughter Sofia.
Galfrascoli was a Buenos Aires-based plastic surgeon. Nunez, a theater producer, and accountant came to Florida to escape the COVID-19 resurgence and strict lockdowns in Argentina. Fernandez stated that they had worked hard to adopt Sofia.
Fernandez stated that “Of all the days, they chose to remain there.” “I hope that it is not true, but if they do die like this, that would certainly be unfair.”
They weren’t alone among the missing South Americans. Foreign ministries and consulates in four countries reported that 22 South American nationals were missing after the collapse. These included nine from Argentina and six from Paraguay. Four from Venezuela, three from Uruguay, and four from Venezuela.
Sophia Lopez Moreira, the sister to first lady Silvana Abdo, and sister-in law of President Mario Abdo Benitez, was among the Paraguayans. She was accompanied by her family.
Israeli media reported that Maor Elbaz (Consul General of Israel in Miami) believes that 20 citizens are missing.
Arnie Notkin (a former teacher in Miami’s elementary schools of physical education) and his wife Myriam were also missing. They lived on the third floor.
Fortuna Smukler said, “Everyone has been posting, Oh my God! He was my coach!” She is a friend who used Facebook to find someone to report them.
“They were happy, joyous people. Smukler stated that he always had a story to share and that she spoke so kind of my mother. There were rumors at first that he was found. But it turned out to be a misinterpretation. If they were found alive, it would be a miracle.