The rest of the 12-story oceanfront building that partially collapsed in Surfside, a city north of Miami Beach, Fla., On June 24, was demolished in a controlled explosion on Sunday night (4).
Authorities have decided to demolish the unstable remains of the building before Tropical Storm Elsa crosses Florida, which is scheduled for Tuesday (6).
The demolition took place at a time when families are still anxiously awaiting news of the 121 missing.
The partial collapse left 24 people dead, in addition to missing.
Rescue work was halted for much of the weekend due to concerns about the building’s unstable structure.
Most of the residents were asleep at the time of the tragedy. Brazilian businesswoman Deborah Soriano, 58, however, cleaned the house after inviting friends over for dinner. She felt an explosion and was thrown across the room.
When he opened the door to his apartment, he found himself facing a void. “I had no idea what was going on, if it was a terrorist attack, if it was an earthquake, I couldn’t capture it,” he says. “I went to the terrace and saw like a fog, I couldn’t see anything. I wanted to leave, I opened the apartment door and there was no hallway. There was nothing else. Everything was broken. “
Deborah made it out of the fire escape well, found other neighbors downstairs, but the doors were blocked with rubble. “We found a hole in the wall, walked through that hole, went hole to hole until we managed to get out near the front of the building. Then the firefighters came up with a bunch of ladders. It was pretty crazy, in fact, I don’t even know how long it lasted.
The Champlain South Tours complex, built 40 years ago, had 12 floors and 136 apartments. The block overlooking the sea collapsed, for reasons which are being investigated.
Last week, US President Joe Biden traveled to Surfside with his wife, Jill, to offer his condolences to relatives of the victims and to meet with local officials. The White House has ordered the dispatch of resources and agents to help with the search. Biden did not visit the landslide area, but attended the memorial set up a block away.
A report on the condition of the building indicated in 2018 “significant structural damage” as well as “cracks” in the parking lot of the building. The publication of a letter from the president of the association of co-owners dated April fueled the debate on the possibility of avoiding the disaster.