Rescue and personnel work to recover the remains of the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on July 8, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images
At the site of the collapse of a 12-story condominium building in Surfside, Florida, at least 94 dead and 22 missing have been confirmed as search efforts enter a third week, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a news conference Monday morning. .
“Please continue to pray with me for those we have lost, the families who are grieving and those who are still waiting,” Levine Cava said.
Since the collapse of Champlain Towers South on June 24, search teams have worked tirelessly to remove victims from the rubble. However, authorities said last week that the possibility of finding anyone alive after the collapse was now “near nil”.
Search teams have shifted operations from rescue to recovery, and authorities said they hope to complete search efforts in the coming weeks if a team from Israel left the site on Saturday.
The Israeli search team had worked with first responders from Miami, Miami-Dade County and Mexico to comb through the rubble from the collapse and was commemorated on a memorial walk near the site.
“This walk was a really beautiful moment for those of us who were able to participate,” Levine Cava said on Sunday.
“Community members, first responders, international partners – we all came together once again to recognize the tremendous tragedy and extraordinary efforts of everyone who has helped us through these difficult, difficult days,” she said.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said on Sunday that repairs will continue until all missing persons are found.
“It’s been two weeks and the conditions are very, very tough. But that hasn’t slowed down the work,” Burkett said on Sunday.
Search and rescue personnel work at the site of a collapsed Florida condominium complex in Surfside, Miami, in this July 2, 2021 handout image.
Miami Dade Fire Department | via Reuters
The investigation into the cause of the collapse continues, with the National Institute of Standards and Technology evaluating the remains of the structure and conducting tests on several pieces of concrete.
Recent evidence indicates that Champlain Towers South had structural flaws as early as 2018, with water tightness issues under the pool and cracks in the underground parking. Experts have also said the repeal of a Florida law in 2010 requiring condominium buildings to schedule repairs may have contributed to the collapse.
Champlain Towers North, the sister property to the collapsed condominium building, is also under investigation to determine if the structure is safe.
Burkett said on Sunday that recent tests on material samples from the north tower indicate the concrete strength is “very good.” Visual inspections and additional testing are underway to evaluate the safety of the structure, Burkett said.