Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the unstable structure, which hampered search and rescue efforts at the site of the deadly collapse, must be demolished for work to continue on the site, where 24 have been confirmed dead and 121 are still missing.
“Taking down the building in a controlled manner is key to expanding our search scope, as you know, into the pile, and allowing us to search the area closest to the building,” Cava said during the briefing.
She said residents in the area had been warned to keep windows and doors closed to prevent demolition dust from entering their homes – and said “there may be some noise.”
Cava also responded to concerns about some pets that may be left in this part of the building – and that have requested that the demolition be delayed until they are found.
“As an animal lover and animal owner my whole life, I made it a priority from day one to do absolutely everything possible to search for an animal that may still be in the building,” said she declared.
“And in the days following the collapse, the Miami-Dade fire crew did three full sweeps of the scene, including searches of closets, under beds, and any other places they could find. look for an animal that might be hiding. , ” she said.
The Champlain South Towers at Surfside collapsed shortly before 1:30 a.m. on June 24, burying nearly 150 people under the rubble.
Earlier Sunday, an Israeli colonel who heads one of the rescue teams said he believed there was a “near zero” chance that survivors could still be found in the rubble.
“The circumstances we have seen over the past two days are too difficult for me to professionally say that I believe there is a good chance of finding someone alive,” Col. Golan Vach told WPLG -TV in an interview.
Hundreds of first responders, including the Israeli team, began excavating the ruins after the collapse, with work stalled for 3 hours on Thursday and again on Saturday due to concerns over the remaining structure.
The decision to demolish the rest of the building, which was initially expected to take weeks, was rushed with Elsa’s upcoming arrival in the Sunshine State.
Forecasters said the storm is expected to hit further west of Surfside, but Gov. Ron DeSantis said winds from the tropical storm could still hit the site of the collapse on Monday evening.
Controversy over the collapse continued to escalate, with new reports of possible construction faults and the recent revelation that the building manager berated Surfside officials three days earlier for delaying necessary repairs .
The building was expanded in 1981 and was due to undergo an upgrade for the required 40-year recertification, which was delayed by several years following a 2018 engineering report pointing to structural issues. adults near a swimming pool.
No cause for the collapse has been reported, but some experts believe the swimming pool, which stood above an underground parking lot, was the epicenter of the tragedy.