The collapse of the Surfside condominium shocked Americans throughout the nation in the earlier hours of last week. Miami-Dade County officials have brought the total number of victims of the collapse to 28. That total included three other people who were found earlier Monday.
Officials stopped the search for the survivors ahead of the demolition of the building due to the incoming Tropical Storm Elsa, according to Reuters.
There are 117 people still unaccounted for.
Search and rescue personnel searched areas of the building that were accessible, including in closets and under beds, for pets as well as placed live traps on balconies to try to catch any pets who may have still been at the site ahead of the building's controlled demolition, she said.
"We went truly to great lengths to take every step we could, at great risk to our first responders, to ensure that all the pets who are beloved family members, that none of them were left in the building prior to the demolition," she said.
“We don’t have a specific time for the demolition,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Reuters reported. She said necessary preparations for the demolition, including “drilling into columns,” make the site unsafe to continue search and rescue.
“We are moving as quickly as possible,” Cava said, according to Reuters. “We are still hopeful we can do the demolition before the storm.”
“As of this time we will not need to evacuate any (nearby) buildings,” she said, according to Reuters.
Just out of Surfside:
"Between 10 pm on Sunday, July 4, 2021, and 3 am on Monday, July 5, the vacant Champlain Towers South (8777 Collins Ave.) structure that remains standing will be demolished." https://t.co/z9J8uWjb2P pic.twitter.com/EbFaf6jurG
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) July 4, 2021
Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said the demolition of the rest of the towers had to occur as soon as possible because Elsa could reach Southern Florida Monday. “We’d have no control of where it lands,” he said, according to Reuters.