Collapsed condo in Florida to be demolished; over 125 remain unaccounted for

National News

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – JUNE 30: Search and rescue teams look for possible survivors and remains in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 30, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Over 100 people are being reported as missing as the search-and-rescue effort continues. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — A top Miami-Dade fire official on Saturday told family members of people missing in the rubble of a collapsed condo building that demolition workers planned to bring down the remainder of the building on Sunday.

Worries have intensified over the past week that the damaged structure could come tumbling down on its own, endangering the crews below and complicating the search for victims.

Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told family members during a morning briefing that the building would be brought down “as soon as possible. First thing tomorrow.”

But he cautioned that there “may be some hiccups.” A follow-up meeting will be held in the afternoon to finalize details of the demolition, which could be a precarious operation as experts enter the building to bore into the structure to install explosives.

Concerns that the still-standing portion could tumble have curtailed the search in areas close to that section, and shifts detected by monitors early Thursday prompted a 15-hour suspension of the entire search until engineers determined the site was safe to restart.

Jadallah said the remnants of the demolished building would be removed immediately after with the intent of giving rescuers access for the first time to the garage area that is the focus of the search.

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Associated Press reporters Bobby Caina Calvan in Tallahassee, Florida, Terry Spencer in Surfside, Florida, Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida, and Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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