Surfside rescue efforts in limbo as officials wait for condo to be demolished


SURFSIDE, Fla. (WFLA) — Rescue operations at the Surfside collapse site are still paused on Day 11 while demolition personnel finish work on demolishing the remainder of the Champlain Towers building.

“This is to ensure the safety of our first responders on site, given that we have ongoing concerns about the structure,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

Cava said the operation’s top priority is the building’s destruction. as it is critical to expanding the scope of search and rescue. There are still 24 confirmed deaths and 121 people who are unaccounted for.

However, there is still no set time for when the building will come down Monday.

“As soon as the building does come down, when the site has been deemed secure and we are given the all-clear, which should happen shortly after the demolition, our search and rescue teams will immediately resume their operations on the pile,” Cava said.

Cava also said hazardous weather from Tropical Storm Elsa could also suspend search and rescue operations.

According to the mayor, the building’s demolition will be contained. The demolition is being handled by an internationally recognized contractor hired by the state of Florida, according to Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Officials warned residents to stay indoors during the demolition due to dust and debris from the building’s controlled collapse. Cava also said residents living nearby should seal their doors and windows.

In the meanwhile, a secure perimeter will be created to keep people away from the demolition zone. Miami-Dade police are also keeping track of items recovered from the debris pile for people to recover them.

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