Crews spend 5th day atop shaky pile of collapsed concrete
SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Rescuers searching for a fifth day for survivors of a Florida condo building collapse used bucket brigades and heavy machinery as they worked atop a precarious mound of debris. The pile is composed of pulverized concrete, twisted steel and the remnants of dozens of households.
Authorities said Monday that their efforts are still a search-and-rescue operation, but no one has been found alive since hours after the collapse on Thursday. 11 people have been confirmed killed, and more than 150 others are still missing in the community of Surfside, just outside of Miami.
The collapse of the building left layer upon layer of intertwined debris, frustrating efforts to reach anyone who may have survived in a pocket of space. The intense effort includes firefighters, sniffer dogs and search experts using radar and sonar devices. Early Monday, a crane lifted a large slab of concrete from the debris pile, enabling about 30 rescuers in hard hats to move in and carry smaller pieces of debris into red buckets, which are emptied into a larger bin for a crane to remove. The work has been complicated by intermittent rain showers, but the fires that hampered the initial search have been extinguished.
The building collapsed just days before a deadline for condo owners to start making steep payments toward more than $9 million in repairs that had been recommended nearly three years earlier, in a report that warned of “major structural damage.”