Update (8 a.m. Monday): At about 10:30 p.m. Sunday evening emergency workers completed the demolition of the standing portion of the Champlain Towers South building.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, whose district includes Surfside, called the demolition “a very tragic situation, not only for those who are still hoping to find loved ones that have survived, but also to the survivors families who got out of the building and all of [their] belongings are in that apartment building.”
Our original story:
Worries about the stability of the standing portion of Champlain Towers South led officials to halt search and rescue efforts on Saturday in Surfside. They hope a controlled demolition of the remainder of the building will keep it from falling on workers as they look for people trapped in the debris of the collapsed portion.
Tropical Storm Elsa is headed toward the region and could further threaten the structure.
When will the search and rescue work resume? The demolition work has begun but won’t be complete until Monday. Once the structure is brought down, crews will remove the remnants immediately, giving searchers better access to parts of the site than they have now.
There are still 124 people missing in the rubble. Rescuers have recovered 24 bodies since the collapse on June 24 but have not found any survivors yet.
—With reporting from J.C. Derrick
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.