6 June 2024

SurfsideUnited States (AFP) – The remaining section of the collapsed apartment block in Surfside, Florida will be demolished overnight between 10:00pm (0200 GMT) and 3:00 am, the county mayor said Sunday, with the confirmed death toll at 24, and 121 people missing.

The search for victims was halted on Saturday as demolition crews prepared to bring down the rest of the building ahead of the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa early next week.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the time at a press conference, saying the demolition would use “small, strategically placed explosives.”

“The demolition itself is confined to the immediate area around the building,” she said.

“However, there is dust and other particles that are an unavoidable byproduct of all types of demolition, and as a precautionary measure we’re urging residents in the immediate vicinity to stay indoors.”

People add flowers to a memorial that has pictures of some of the missing from the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on July 3, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. – Rescuers recovered two more bodies to bring the death toll in the Florida apartment block collapse to 24, authorities said Saturday, vowing to quickly raze the rest of the structure before the potential arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa. (Photo by Giorgio Viera / AFP)

Most of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building collapsed in the early hours of June 24, sending up a huge cloud of dust and rattling Americans unprepared for such a deadly urban disaster.

The unstable remains of the block pose a threat to search and rescue teams still at the scene, though hopes of finding anyone alive are fast diminishing.

With Tropical Storm Elsa rumbling northward through the Caribbean, authorities accelerated the demolition schedule.