Remainder of Fla. Surfside Condo Demolished, Rescue Efforts Resume as 121 People Still Missing
The remainder of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Florida, was demolished Sunday, allowing rescue efforts to resume this week.
The condo, which collapsed early June 24, was demolished in a controlled explosion at 10:30 p.m. ET Sunday as officials were concerned for the search and rescue crews, especially with strong winds approaching from Tropical Storm Elsa, according to The New York Times.
During Sunday's demolition, Surfside residents were told to stay inside their homes to avoid dust and other byproducts of the destruction.
Rescue efforts were able to resume Monday to continue the search for 121 missing people from the collapse. The death toll remains at 24.
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According to the Times, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County said the demolition of the condo may help search and rescue teams get to the previously unreachable areas of the rubble. One-third of the debris has yet to be searched, she added.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett appeared on CBS's Face of the Nation Sunday where he emphasized that officials are still considering this a rescue effort.
"It is absolutely not a recovery effort," Burkett said, according to CNN. "There is nobody in charge really talking about stopping this rescue effort. And this rescue effort, as far as I'm concerned, will go on until everybody is pulled out of that debris."
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On Saturday morning, Burkett celebrated Levine Cava during a press conference for her "decisive leadership" with the demolition plans.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also spoke during the public press conference, where he said that the state would fully pay to demolish the building.
DeSantis said he supported the building's demolition, calling it "the prudent thing to do," as Tropical Storm Elsa potentially makes its way toward the southern state.