Florida Rescuers Search for Survivors as the Nation Searches for Answers

Florida

Some Surfside, Florida — located near Miami-Dade— residents were rudely woken up as a portion of their 12-story condominium tower collapsed in the early hours Thursday morning. On June 24, 2021, around 1:30 am (EST) part Champlain Towers South was captured by nearby security cameras as it collapsed.

This incident killed at least four people and has over 150 people still missing. Those who survived the terrifying ordeal described hearing a “loud, thunderous sound” as the building collapsed. Some residents opened their doors to find the hallway blocked by debris. Rescuers had to save those who were unable to leave their condos with ladders from their balconies.

People around the world have called in to report their family or friends were staying at the Florida condominium. Vacationers from around the world are being reported missing and unaccounted for. Israeli’s consul general in Miami, Maor Elbaz, believes at least 20 of the country’s citizens are missing. At least 22 unaccounted people are from Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.

According to a CBS update, Florida authorities have been able to identify 102 people — 99 people are still missing. President Joe Biden has announced a federal emergency in South Florida to help get aid to crews and victims.

One family from New Jersey was staying in the Surfside condo at the time of the collapse. They said they heard what they “thought was thunder” as the chandelier began to quake.

The Jersey father said when he opened the door he could “see the hallway wall had sheared off.” The mother stated that she was “terrified as her and her husband woke up to the building shaking and her husband saying ‘What was that?'”

Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that authorities had helped several families from over a dozen countries get visas to travel to Florida.

FloridaSearch and rescue crews have been working around the clock to find those who have been trapped in the rubble. Smoke and fire have become an issue for workers searching. Florida officials are having a difficult time figuring out why the fires keep happening and what caused the building to collapse.

Florida’s Miami-Dade County Mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, stated the smoke created from a fire deep below the collapsed debris has created severe difficulties for search and rescue crews.

According to Biden, FEMA is already in Florida trying to figure out what is needed. Whether it is housing for those who are now homeless, food, clothing, and aid. Engineers and other officials have been working hard to figure out why the building collapsed.

A report from October 2018 states that a structural field study survey was conducted on the Champlain Towers South in Florida. This report raised some concerns about structural damage to the concrete slab below the pool deck. The document further describes “cracking and spalling” in the parking garage. The 2018 report and a series of other public records documents were posted on Surfside, Florida’s town website. The first media outlet to publish these findings was The New York Times.

The South Flordia condominium stayed true to Miami’s international mix. The building held Orthodox Jews, foreign retirees, and South American immigrants; along with those who vacationed there.

Many people have taken to social media to speak out about the terrifying collapse in Florida. One person commented on CNN’s tweet, “Texans are freezing to death, losing electricity in the worst of the heat & cold. Now buildings collapsing in Florida, probably killing scores of ppl. Red states need to admit we are in a climate crisis and they need to pay attention.”

Another person who goes by the name Laura commented on CNN’s Twitter post:

This catastrophic event has to do with lack of building inspections and poor building codes in Florida. Almost ALL red state have poor infrastructure due to greed. These states desire money but end up with dead people. We pray for the victims, the families & the first responders.

A lot of other people’s opinions coincided that something needs to be done to ensure buildings in Florida are up to code. Families, friends, and people around the world continue to hope that more survivors will be found.

Frackle, LLC joins the rest of the nation as prayers go out to those affected by the collapsed building in Florida.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

CNN: At least 159 missing after partial building collapse near Miami; by Fernando Alfonso III, Maureen Chowdhury, and Zamira Rahim

NBC: Engineer found major structural damage to Florida condo tower nearly three years before collapse; by Amelia Lucas

The New York Times: Fire beneath the debris is hampering search efforts.; by Isabella Grullón Paz and Giulia Heyward

Click 2 Houston: Victims in Miami condo collapse came from around the world

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Daniel X. O’Neil’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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