News from Miami continues to be grim as the death toll has now risen to 22 people, according to CNN. As previously reported, a 12-story building called Champlain Towers South partially collapsed at about 2 a.m. more than a week ago. Now, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has signed an emergency order that authorizes the demolition of the collapsed building “as soon as the engineers sign off on the next steps.”
The condo, built in 1981, boasted 136 residential units until about 55 were ruined in the collapse. As a result,188 people have been accounted for while 126 people remain unaccounted for, the mayor revealed during a Friday press conference.
“Our detectives are continually editing this list as we verify every single report that we have received regarding a potentially missing person,” the mayor said. “And, as a result, these numbers will continue to change as we’ve told you so often.”
Despite heavy search and rescue efforts, the mayor gave the demolition authorization “in the interest of public health and safety.” The collapsed building poses a risk to neighboring residents, especially with the looming threat of Hurricane Elsa in the nearby Caribbean, according to CNN reports.
“The demolition of the building is going to proceed based on the recommendations of the engineers,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. “It’s going to take, most likely, weeks.”
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On Thursday, efforts at the collapse site were delayed for about 15 hours to give engineers time to assess the remaining structure. Search teams have reportedly been digging though “concrete up to 16 feet.” State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis backed the mayor’s motion.
“To finish the mission, the building will have to go,” Jimmy said. “It’s just too much of a risk.”
The body of a seven-year-old girl was recovered in the rubble and turned out to be the daughter of a firefighter at the City of Miami Fire Department.
“This is so excruciating for everyone, the waiting and waiting and hoping and praying for the families, especially, of course, and also for the first responders,” the mayor said in regards to her demolition decision.
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