Engineers plan to demolish what is left standing of Champlain South
A group of structural engineers worked to make a recommendation Thursday about what needed to be done to improve the safety of the search-and-rescue operation in Miami-Dade County’s town of Surfside.
Search-and-rescue teams suspended work at Champlain Towers South at 2:11 a.m., Thursday, after monitors alerted engineers to shifts in what is left of the L-shaped building that partially collapsed last week.
The search-and-rescue operation resumed about 4:45 p.m., just after President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden departed, but officials said the suspension had nothing to do with their visit. Officials feared the structure was threatening to fall down on rescuers.
Engineers considered the pros and cons of demolishing what is left standing of the southern section of the 12-story building. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he was preparing for the possibility.
“Once the decision is made I didn’t want there to be like another day setting up the demolition if that was the decision, so I directed my building official to start talking to those demolition companies,” Burkett said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava will make a decision with the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
A Coast Guard boat patrols in front of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building, ahead of a planned visit to the site by President Joe Biden, on Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Rescue efforts at the site of the partially collapsed condominium building were halted Thursday out of concern about the stability of the remaining structure, officials said.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (Mark Humphrey/)
The oceanside property at 8777 Collins Ave., is across the street from Veterans Park, a space that can be useful if there was a demolition. The official death toll stands at 18, and 145 people remain unaccounted for, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky told reporters Thursday morning there were additional concerns for building stability. The concrete slabs of the southern part of the 12-story building that didn’t collapse were moving.
A parked crane sits beside the still standing section of Champlain Towers South, which partially collapsed last Thursday, as rescue efforts on the rubble below were paused out of concern about the stability of the remaining structure, Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Scores of residents are still missing one week after the seaside condominium building partially collapsed. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (Mark Humphrey/)
Comisky said there was also up to a foot of movement in a large hanging column. The shifts threatened support columns in the underground parking garage. The more than 300 people who have been working on the operation were at risk.
Crews first accessed the compact mountain of pancaked concrete through the garage hours after the collapse. The rescue teams had been tunneling through in groups of 10 to 12. They worked through intermittent rain and spontaneous fires.
Workers peer up at the rubble pile at the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building, ahead of a planned visit to the site by President Joe Biden, on Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Search and rescue workers, who have had to contend with summer rainstorms, fires within the debris, and the threat of collapse from the still standing portion of the building, were not visible atop the rubble on Thursday morning, as scores of people remain missing one week after the collapse.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (Mark Humphrey/)
The work with heavy equipment also came to a halt. A team of structural engineers was assessing the situation.
With Tropical Storm Elena approaching, the safety plans were quickly changing. After the search-and-rescue mission resumed, Levine Cava said there was a contingency plan in place.
HOW TO HELP: Here’s a list of resources to support those impacted by building collapse More about the victims identified Photos: Loved ones name those they say are missing Photos: Search-and-rescue teams in action Hotline and wellness form for residents and families
Coverage on Thursday
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Coverage on June 30
Search and rescue personnel work atop the rubble at the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of people remain missing almost a week after it partially collapsed, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/)Beloved ‘Dos Elenas’ legacy after Surfside tragedy will be legal reformFamily of 4 confirmed to be among victims of Surfside building collapseDeath toll rises in Surfside; more than 140 unaccounted forRubble from Surfside condo brought to grassy field in Golden Glades’Ex-official who said Surfside condo was sound leaves new jobNonstop search efforts at Surfside building collapse site can take its toll on rescue workersMissing woman made phone call to her husband as Surfside condo collapsed Mother of North Bay Village police chief confirmed dead following Surfside collapse Remarkable stories of Surfside condo residents who survived by chance Family of missing woman files wrongful death lawsuit against Champlain Towers South Condo Association
Coverage on June 29
Crews work in the rubble Champlain Towers South residential condo, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday’s fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/)‘Something inside me said run’: Surfside survivor describes escaping as building came down Surfside resident lucky to be alive after spending night with girlfriend Champlain condo associations try to appease sister towers residents, speed up repairs Condominium law experts say tragedy will prompt more accountability Miami-Dade building audit already spotting issues Army of volunteers showers first responders with food, water Rescuers battle obstacles during their search in Surfside Recently married lawyer and husband missing in collapse Renowned civil engineer hired to investigate Families of Surfside victims keep hope alive by visiting condo and unifying in Bal Harbour Prosecutors will ask grand jury to probe building collapse ‘Our backyard’: Tragedy strikes home for Miami-Dade rescuers Biden to visit Florida building collapse on Thursday In collapsed building’s twin, most residents are staying put Surfside realtor says deadly building collapse ‘hasn’t slowed down the demand’ on beachside condos Beachside vigil held for victims and families of Surfside building collapse
Coverage on June 28
Workers search the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Monday, June 28, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday’s fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Gerald Herbert/)Another body pulled from rubble in Surfside, bringing the total confirmed dead to 10 Residential property audit announced by Miami-Dade mayor already underway Buses take loved ones of missing Surfside residents to collapse site 8 victims now identified following Surfside building collapse 88-year-old Surfside condo survivor remembers those who helped her to safety ‘Don’t give up hope,’ local leaders tell families of Surfside missing Watch out for Surfside charity scams and price gouging Despite warning, town deemed condo building in ‘good shape’ Mayor: Child alone outside collapse site brings tragedy home Who are they? Stories of the victims of Surfside collapse What caused Surfside collapse? Engineer offers insight ‘I will miss you all my life:’ Father pens beautiful note to late son who died in the Surfside condo collapse Memorials grow in Surfside as desperate search for victims continues into fifth day Surfside collapse is ‘wake-up call,’ DeSantis says as questions remain about cause of devastating collapse
Coverage on June 27
Crews work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday’s fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee/)State fire marshal provides insight into efforts to locate victims while fighting fire Team of national scientists to visit Surfside collapse site Teams use sonar devices, lasers to aid in Surfside rescue Several families belonging to Miami Beach church remain missing, parishioners gather to pray and hope Neighboring residents express concern as investigation into Champlain Towers South collapse continues Buses take loved ones of missing Surfside residents to collapse site Remembering the dead and missing Search-and-rescue teams tunnel through pancaked concrete 3 days after building collapse
Coverage on June 26
Rescue workers search in the rubble for survivors at the Champlain Towers South condominium, Saturday, June 26, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami. The building partially collapsed on Thursday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/)Relative of Surfside building collapse victim lashes out at DeSantis for not ‘doing enough’ Surfside building collapse: Four out of 5 dead identified; 156 remain unaccounted for Missing grandparents’ landline calling from Champlain Towers South condo, family says Surfside tower had ‘major structural damage’ — but enough to cause a collapse? North Bay Village police chief’s mother has been unaccounted for since Surfside building collapse ‘The hope is that there are going to be miracles,’ relative of Surfside building collapse victims says Fire burning beneath rubble of collapsed Surfside condo hindering rescue efforts Surfside building collapse first responders having difficulty locating victims in massive debris pile Miami-Dade Mayor: ‘I’m hopeful this will be the day we have a breakthrough’ Surfside mayor expresses concern over Champlain South’s identical sister building Traffic changes in Surfside area as rescue efforts continue following deadly building collapse
Coverage on June 25
FILE – In this June 25, 2021, file photo, rescue personnel work at the remains of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Fla. Harry Rosenberg, a New York City man, bought a beachfront home there to start a new chapter of his life after his wife and parents died. Now he is missing in the collapse of the building outside Miami. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) (Gerald Herbert/)Champlain Towers South resident survives by climbing through rubble in the dark with her dog Teen identified after being pulled from rubble in Surfside, family confirms mother is among those dead Man who lives in condo looks out, tells wife ‘My parents’ apartment isn’t there’ Surfside collapse: Family reunification center moving from community space to hotel First lawsuit filed after partial building collapse in Surfside Smoke billows out from Champlain Towers South collapse site Surfside officials discuss aftermath of building collapse: ‘Terrible tragedy’ to change recertification Israel sends help to Surfside’s Jewish community Amid anguish after building collapse, memorial, prayer circle help some cope with Surfside tragedy
Coverage on June 24
This photo taken from video provided by ReliableNewsMedia, firefighters rescue a survivor from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo after the multistory building partially collapsed in Surfside, Fla., early Thursday, June 24, 2021. (ReliableNewsMedia via AP) (Uncredited/)Officials fear there will be many casualties after Surfside building ‘pancaked’ during collapse Surveillance video captures eerie moments as part of Surfside condo crashes down Man says all he saw was ‘white clouds of dust’ Father remains missing; wife and daughter hospitalized after Surfside building collapse Surfside condo that collapsed was going through a recertification process After Surfside collapse do you need to worry about your building? Officials fear there will be many casualties after Surfside building ‘pancaked’ during collapse Geologist warned of instability in Surfside Read More