In this handout image dated July 2, 2021, search and rescue workers are working on the site of a collapsed Florida condominium complex in Surfside, Miami, USA.
MIAMI DADE FIRE DEPARTMENT | about REUTERS
The demolition of the partially collapsed residential tower in Surfside, Florida will begin search operations on Sunday evening once the site is safe, according to Miami-Dade County’s Mayoress Daniella Levine Cava.
The demolition will take place between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., Levine Cava said during a press conference on Sunday evening. According to the Miami-Dade police, residents in the protection zone should stay indoors with immediate effect.
The on-site protection order will be lifted two hours after the demolition is complete, Levine Cava said. Residents should close all windows, doors and air intakes, she said.
“The demolition is limited to the immediate vicinity of the building,” said the mayor. “However, there is dust and other particles that are an inevitable by-product of all types of demolition, and as a precautionary measure, we ask residents in the immediate vicinity to stay indoors during the demolition.”
Search and rescue operations on the building were temporarily suspended on Saturday afternoon in preparation for demolition, which included drilling the building’s remaining pillars. Levine Cava said Sunday the search would resume immediately after the building is shut down and the site is believed to be safe.
“The controlled demolition of the building is critical to expanding our search area, as you know in the pile, and allowing us to search the area closest to the building, the one for the teams given the great risk to ours Teams was inaccessible. ” First responders because of the instability of the building, “said Levine Cava.
No one has been rescued since the first hours after the Champlain Towers South collapsed 11 days ago. The death toll rose to 24 by Saturday, 121 are still missing. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis said during a press conference early Saturday that the state will pay for all costs of the demolition.
The demolition is carried out through a technique called “energetic felling,” which relies on gravity to demolish the building with small designations and limit the collapse to the area of the building, according to Levine Cava.
The officials initially thought it could take weeks to demolish. Plans to demolish the remaining structure were accelerated, however, amid concerns that the effects of the weather from Tropical Storm Elsa could hit Florida early next week and further threaten the unstable structure with heavy rains and winds.
The cause of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South, built in the 1980s, is still unknown. However, an engineering firm filed a 2018 report warning of cracks and major structural damage under the building’s pool deck.