Florida building collapse casualties increased to 11; 150 still missing

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Even with the slimmed chances, workers on Monday continued to search through the debris of the collapsed building in Florida, even with their bare hands, in the hope to retrieve more survivors. Stressing the highly challenging operation, officials still assert that they have not let go of the search-and-rescue step yet, instead, it is still ongoing.

As the search marks its fifth day, some 150 people are still unaccounted for while deaths have increased to 11 after the two more casualties were logged.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava warned at a press briefing on Monday that “these numbers are very fluid.”

Throughout the day, there were non-stop updates on the rescue operations from the city and state officials on ground, giving assurance to the families that there is still hope to retrieve more victims alive, as they opposed those who clamour that the response is slow.

Since Thursday when the 13-story Champlain South Towers in Surfside, Fla. collapsed, rescuers have not retrieved any survivor from the rubble.

Deployed in the area are more than 300 emergency workers, which were already joined by personnel from Mexico and Israel, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, working relentlessly 24/7.

“This the largest deployment of task force resources in the state of Florida that’s not a hurricane,” exclaimed the state’s chief financial officer and fire marshal, Jimmy Patronis, in a press briefing on Monday. He said the deployment shares the equal personnel who helped in 2018 when Category 5 Hurricane Michael hit.

The Miami-Dade Fire’s assistant fire chief of operations, Ray Jadallah, underscored the extreme rescue efforts, saying that it was not as easy as getting one floor off from another to get the survivors. He described it as searching through the powdered steel and looking through solid rocks “the size of baseballs.” Rescuers in other areas, meanwhile, have encountered “larger concrete areas that now require heavy machinery,” which led to the discovery of a single or couple of victims on Monday.

“It’s going to take time, it’s not going to happen overnight,” the assistant fire chief said.