Officers canceled the hunt for the survivors two weeks after a residential condominium collapsed in Surfside, Florida, with the death toll at 54 and 86 people still missing.
Daniella Levine Cava, mayor of the Miami-Dade county, said Wednesday night that rescue personnel had “used every possible strategy and every piece of technology available to them,” removing 7m pounds of cement and scrapes during the research through the rubble in the affluent commune north of Miami.
While “we all asked God for a miracle,” Cava said, “at this point we’ve really exhausted every option available to us in the search and rescue mission.”
Charles Burkett, mayor of Surfside, adds that “the possibility of someone still alive is close to zero. Today is a harrowing day.”
The operation will go from a rescue to an attempt to find and identify the victims at midnight. Cava said the effort will continue at “the same speed and intensity.”
The 12-story building, Champlain Towers South, was built in the early 1980s and sought to achieve its 40-year recertification, which local building codes require. A 2018 report found “a major mistake” in the way the building’s pool platform was built, as well as the “abundant” deterioration of its concrete columns and walls.
The cost of solving the problems started at $ 9 million, but went up to $ 15 million for three years while condominium board members and residents disagreed on the price and size. of repairs.
The problems mentioned in the report have not been identified as the cause of the collapse, which officials continue to investigate.
Officials demolished the wreckage of the building on Sunday, due to concerns that Tropical Storm Elsa would disrupt efforts to conduct research.
A block away the survivors and benefactors have created an impromptu memorial with flowers and photographs of the missing and candles.