PBS Newshour reports that rescue and recovery efforts for more than 150 people are still missing after a partial collapse of a condominium in Surfside, Florida, on Thursday, June 24th, 2021.
So far, the death toll after the collapse of the building has been raised to nine people.
Officials say that in 2018 structural engineers recommended a major overhaul and repairs to the building in an official report. The report recommended that the repairs needed to be made to prevent deterioration of the overall structure of the building.
The report also indicated that the pool deck located on the structure’s ground floor rested on only one slab. Further, the waterproofing of the pool had failed and caused significant damage to the building structure in the form of cracks in concrete pillars, beams, and supports for the structure.
According to the report, the site remains unstable and dangerous. Piles of rubble must be shored up to protect the safety of rescuers and to ensure that no pockets where survivors could be are disturbed. Because the dirt and debris are so compacted, it has made it an excruciatingly slow process in the search for possible survivors. This slow process that has been playing out since early Thursday morning has left families frustrated and distraught.
An Israeli response team has arrived to assist the rescue crews in Surfside. Desperate for answers, surviving family members asked members of the Israeli team if they were doing everything possible to find and rescue survivors. The response from members of the Israeli response team was, “Absolutely.”