Fears are rising that the number of victims could rise significantly after a 12-storey apartment building collapsed in the US state of Florida. As of Friday, up to 99 people were missing.
The death toll from Friday’s crash at a surfboard near Miami Beach has risen to four, the Miami-Tate mayor’s office said. Another 11 people were injured. The fire department said 37 people had been released from the building. U.S. media reported that rescue teams were equipped with detection dogs, special cameras and hearing aids. Each time, you can hear the tapping noise from the meter-high ruins.
“Nothing else matters. We did not give up,” said Charles Burkett, mayor of the site. Rescuers are on duty around the clock. We will not succeed in finding survivors like that. “
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Councilor Charles Gesell told CNN that he trusted more survivors: “Realistically, I do not know how many will be rescued or will survive.” Miami-Tate District Mayor Daniel Levine Kawa, look at the search: “Every minute counts.”
Authorities insisted the 99 missing people did not need to be in the building. Local media reported that DNA samples were taken from relatives to identify the victims.
To release additional funds and supplies after the disaster, Florida Governor Ron Desantis declared a state of emergency. President Joe Biden confirmed this on Friday that federal funds were also available. Disaster management company FEMA is also involved. Biden had already insisted on Thursday that the federal government would do so wherever possible. “We’re here,” Biden said.
At around 1.30am local time, 55 of the 130 residential units in the building near the beach collapsed. Misfortune surprised people in their sleep. The Miami Herald newspaper released a video from a security camera, first showing another part of the L-shaped building collapsing. The article wrote that the images were reminiscent of scenes in New York during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The cause of the accident at Surface is still a mystery. Councilor Kessel said the residential complex, known as Sampline Towers South, had recently been explored by experts as part of a routine inspection since the 1980s.
Shimon Vodinsky, a professor at the International University of Florida (FIU), told local media last year that an investigation had found that a building built in a wetland had sunk several millimeters in the 1990s. Not only did it trigger a collapse, but it may have contributed to it. “When one part of the building moves in relation to another, it creates tension and cracks,” he said.
Mayor Kawa said the building appears to have collapsed due to structural problems. Structural engineers and firefighters will work together to support a portion of the building that now stands together.
Greg Batista, an engineer who worked at home a few years ago, told CNN: “If not repaired, the chipping could collapse.” Batista said that for a building to collapse, only one pillar would be damaged. “Everything it takes is a pillar, everything can collapse like a Zenga tower.”
Another engineer, Kid Miyamoto, summed up Batista’s comments to CNN: “This collapse is a failure of a noble pillar. The building was built on many such pillars. And when a pillar collapses, everything falls apart. It’s just like that. “
“It looks like a bomb has exploded,” Burkitt, the mayor of the site, told NBC on Thursday. “But we firmly believe it’s not a bomb, it’s something else.” Citizen Santo Majil told the Miami Herald newspaper that his wife was a nurse and was in the building at the time of the accident. She said on the phone that she heard “a big bang”. “It felt like an earthquake,” he said. Her husband said the woman had been rescued. (dpa, AFP, Reuters)