Following the managed wipeout of the part of the building left on the collapsed condominium in Miami-Dade on Sunday evening, officials said deaths have increased to 28.
On Monday, officials said that three other bodies were retrieved from the rubble and the 28th victim was announced later in the day during a news briefing.
It has been 11 days since the 12-story condominium collapsed, leaving 117 people still missing. This has urged continued search-and-rescue operations that only paused for a while due to bad weather as well as the demolition.
Last June 24, almost half of the building collapsed as rescue workers moved away from another portion which was at risk of tumbling down.
The remains of the building were also threatened to be wrecked by Tropical Storm Elsa, prompting the decision for the demolition.
“The search-and-rescue team has been able to search all sections of the grid on the collapse, following the building demolition,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
The Surfside area, according to the weather forecast, might experience scattered showers and thunderstorms although the latest forecast said it probably can be safe from the storm’s strength.
Since the early period of the disaster, no person managed to be retrieved alive from the pile of powdered concrete, scrap lumber and distorted metal.
Yet, officials expressed their hope publicly for more survivors to be saved despite how far it may appear, as international and local crews and experts work together — taking turns to look through the rubble, Reuters reported.
“I’m in awe of the men and women of the … task force teams who’ve been continuing to brave dangerous and changing conditions. For 12 days, fire, smoke, and now wind and torrential rain – they are continuing the mission and the search of a collapse area,” the mayor said. “Truly, they live to save lives,” she added.