Remaining Surfside Condo Structure Demolished Ahead of Tropical Storm
A demolition crew has collapsed the remaining structures of the collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida.
Explosives were set off at 10:30 p.m. ET at Champlain Towers South in a controlled operation that officials say will aid search and rescue efforts for the remaining 121 victims still missing following the June 24 collapse.
Officials say the detonation was also to manage risks of the damaged building falling on its own as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches.
“We want to make sure that we control which way the building falls, and not a hurricane,” Mayor Charles Burkett of Surfside told reporters before the demolition.
Twenty-four people are known to have died. No one has yet to be found alive from the disaster as rescue efforts continue.
Burkett also told CBS News that the demolition would bring the building down in a westward direction so that the search and rescue area on the other side of the building with potential survivors is not affected.
He emphasized that the operation continues to be a search and rescue, not a recovery effort, citing a BBC documentary which outlines survivability after a building collapse.
“This rescue effort, as far as I’m concerned, will go on until everybody’s pulled out of that debris,” he said.
Demolition staff worked Saturday to drill holes for the explosives to bring the damaged building down.
A Miami-Dade fire official said previously that search teams could resume their work between 15 and 60 minutes after the demolition.