The rescuers, still trying to escape with their lives, face a significant obstacle: fires are burning under the rubble, preventing rescue teams from advancing in their search, especially due to the smoke emanating from it.
According to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who gave the update at a news conference Saturday morning, blazing fires have been spreading everywhere under the rubble for some time, making it difficult to isolate and turn off the source.
Using infrared technology, firefighters are now trying to isolate the burning areas and make trenches to continue investigations. Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Kominski said the conditions under which rescuers work are very harsh.
The fire broke out in the evening as efforts were made to remove the debris. We stopped for a while before taking more suitable equipment and making trenches., He explained.
Rain starting to fall on the surfside may help firefighters in their fight.
Survivors’ survival has always been a priority for rescuers. According to Daniella Levine Kawa, hope is still possible because there are many cracks in the air in the pile of rubble that have accumulated at the bottom of the building.
Still, signs of life have not yet been reported and only one body has been found since the crash. So another 159 are missing.
Checks on the agenda
Ms. Levine Kawa said she plans to examine all of the problematic buildings in the county, including those built almost 40 years ago.
The collapsed building, built in 1981, before Saturday, Reviewed in 2018. The consultant who operated it determined that the building had “major structural damage” but did not declare it dangerous.
The mayor said the number of buildings to be audited would be announced soon, adding that at least one structure on the surfside needed review.
It is Champlain Towers North, a building almost identical to the collapsed building, built a few hundred meters away by the same real estate developer the same year.
Champlain Towers East, in a different style and at another time, a building built by the same developer will also be inspected.
On Saturday morning, Surf Side Mayor Charles Burkett advised Champlain Towers North residents to vacate their residence, saying they could not be assured they were safe. Mr Burkett said he was working on a plan to change them temporarily.
This reference becomes an order if we believe the words of Florida Governor Ron Desantis. Mr Desantis, who attended the press conference, said the mayor could make a statement at the end of the day on the matter.
The governor reminded that all the necessary resources would be deployed to deal with the current situation.