Rescue workers in Surfside have recovered six more bodies, bringing the death toll to 18 with some 140 persons still missing as President Joe Biden prepares to visit the scene today.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said work will continue on the rubble of a collapsed condominium building until every missing person is accounted for.
Crews have found no survivors since the first hours after the 12-story beachfront building in Surfside collapsed a week ago.
An eight-person team from Gainesville Fire Rescue deployed Sunday to aid the recovery efforts.
What’s going on at the site? The building suffered a “pancake collapse,” meaning the floors stacked on top of each other, making it difficult for rescue workers to maneuver the site. Sporadic storms and lightning have also delayed the process.
Crews built a ramp overnight on Wednesday for heavy equipment to remove layers of concrete and allow them to reach unsearched sections where survivors could be trapped.
Florida officials promised to convene a grand jury and conduct thorough investigations to find out what caused the disaster.
A 2018 inspection of Champlain Towers South found problems with the pool deck that threatened the concrete structure. Earlier this year, the president of the condominium association told neighbors in a letter that the damage would get much worse if they didn’t do something soon.
—With reporting from J.C. Derrick
This story has been updated. It originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.