As it happenedended1625059994

Miami building collapse - updates: Death toll reaches 12 as extra rescue team requested amid tropical forecast

Follow the latest updates here

Rescue teams continue working at the site of the deadly Miami building collapse

The death toll from the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, continues to rise, with 12 confirmed fatalities, and a further 149 people missing.

Authorities in Florida have asked the federal government to send another rescue team to aid its efforts amid reports that tropical storms could hit Miami in the coming days.

Over the weekend, US media reported that a Surfside official assured residents of the now-collapsed condominium that it was “in very good shape”, a month after an engineering report found it had “major structural damage”.

A resident of a sister building told reporters he had “concerns” about a crack that appeared n his block, Champlain Towers East, after Thursday’s tragedy. Residents in the block have been offered to evacuate, although there is no imminent threat.

It comes amid reports that the building’s developers broke rules by adding an additional floor to the 12-storey building, and afterwards ignored warnings of structural damage.

Those with family members who may have been in the building at the time of its collapse are asked to call 305-614-1819. More information here.

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Rescue efforts entering sixth day, as fire officials yet to reach bottom

Search-and-rescue work has stretched into a sixth day at the site of Champlain Towers South, with families still awaiting for news of those feared dead.

Families of the 150 still missing were "coping with the news that they might not have loved ones come out alive and still hoping that they will," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine told reporters on Monday evening.

"Their loved ones may come out as body parts," added Ms Cava, whose office is overseeing the response to the disaster.

No one has been pulled out alive from the rubble of the collapsed building since Thursday morning, hours after the incident occurred in the middle of the night.

After two more bodies were found on Monday, Miami-Dade’s Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told reporters: fire officials said: "Not to say that we have seen anyone down there, but we've not gotten to the very bottom”.

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 16:10
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Bidens to tour site of Surfside building collapse

Joe and Jill Biden are set to tour the site of the collapsed tower in Surfside, Florida, on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the US president said the visit would be "as soon as we can, maybe as early as Thursday."

The White House, which has been coordinating closely with the rescue and relief effort in Surfside, confirmed the trip.

It remains unclear if Mr Biden will tour the rubble of the collapsed building, where rescue work is ongoing, or meet with families of residents.

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 16:17
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Contractor said water in basement ‘not normal'

A contractor who visited Champlain Towers South before it collapsed has revealed how he witnessed cracked concrete around the pool, and water in the basement.

The contractor, who did not wish to be named, took photographs of corroded rebar and cracked concrete around the pool area just 36 hours before half the building caved in, killing at least 11 people.

He told the Miami Herald: “I thought to myself, that’s not normal.”

“There was something obviously very, very wrong with this building, and we need to get to the bottom of it,” Mayor Charles Burkett of Surfside, added, in comments to “ABC This Week”.

The revelations from the contractor follow a 2018 report warning of “major structural damage” at Champlain Towers South, which was due to certificated for structural integrity this year.

‘That’s not normal’: Champlain Towers pool contractor took pictures of cracked concrete days before collapse

‘There was something obviously very, very wrong with this building, and we need to get to the bottom of it,’ Surfside mayor Charles Burkett says

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 16:43
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Firefighter said ‘it almost resembles the World Trade Center’

First responders at the collapsed condo tower in Surfside, Florida, compared the tragedy to the World Trade Centre, audio from those arriving at the scene has revealed.

As reported by NBC 6, a firefighter was heard telling a dispatcher: “A quarter of the building is left, we still have people standing upstairs that still need to be evacuated”.

He continues: “I see many people on their balconies. There’s no elevators. The building is gone. There are no elevators. It almost resembles the Trade Center”.

Fire rescue radio call released from Florida building collapse: ‘It almost resembles the Trade Center’

‘It’s going to be high priority... We’re going to need full assignment on this, everybody,’ firefighter tells dispatcher as he arrives at site

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 17:05
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Expert says ending search and rescue a ‘difficult decision’

An expert has said that ending a search and rescue operation is a “difficult decision” facing officials in Surfside, Florida, where no one has been found alive in the wreckage of Champlain Towers South since hours after the incident on Thursday.

Dr Joseph A Barbera, a professor at George Washington University, told the Associated Press the decision is fraught with considerations, and one that only those on the ground can make.

"It's an incredibly difficult decision, and I've never had to make that decision," Dr Barbera said of transition to a recovery effort.

The professor, who co-authored a study on disasters and survival under rubble for prolonged periods of time, said rescuers would have to conclude when "the probability of continued survival is very, very small”, which could be within hours or days.

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 17:25
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What we know about the victims and missing

Officials have so far identified 11 individuals who are confirmed to have died in the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida.

A further 150 remain unaccounted for amid the rubble of the 12-story beachfront condo, which collapsed in the middle of the night on Thursday without warning.

Here is everything we know about them so far:

Miami building collapse: Elementary school children and missionaries among those still missing in Surfside

Friends and relatives of the missing await the worst, as tributes are paid to those who were killed on Friday

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 18:11
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Fourth of July fireworks cancelled in Miami

Miami Beach have cancelled their planned fireworks for Independence Day on 4th July out of respect for the victims of the collapsed building in Surfside, Florida.

It was set to occur a mile away from the wreckage of Champlain Towers South, which partially collapsed on Thursday last week, killing at least 11 people.

Yuliya Popchenkova, a resident of Surfside, told The New York Times she was not surprised by the cancellation.

“I knew it was going to happen even before they announced it,” said Ms Popchenkova, who lives near the collapsed condo building. “It’s respectful; this was a tragedy.”

Other celebrations in Miami-Dade are also expected to be cancelled or scaled back.

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 18:36
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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner donate to Surfside

Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner have reportedly made a donation to the community of Surfside following the collapse of the building, which occurred just a block away from their home in Miami.

A source told NBC News 6 that the couple were not in Miami when the tragedy unfolded on Thursday, but they had paid for food for first responders for a week, and were supporting the community in Surfside.

The eldest daughter and son-in-law of Donald Trump relocated to the area in January, following the former US president’s presidential relocation to Mar-a-Lago in nearby Palm Beach for the first half of the year.

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 18:55
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Debris falling on rescue efforts, officials say

The chief of Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue has said during a press briefing on Tuesday that debris falling from the partially collapsed building is adding difficulties to the sixth day of search and rescue efforts.

200 rescuers are involved in the round-the-clock effort, which pulled out 37 individuals and 850 cubic meters of concrete from the wreckage, so far.

Gino Spocchia29 June 2021 19:15
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Condo firefighters honour missing children with touching tribute

Firefighters are reportedly collecting toys found in the rubble of the Surfside, Miami, building collapse and adding them to a makeshift memorial for missing children.

The items include a Winnie the Pooh bear with a red shirt that reads “Baby’s 1st Pooh Bear”.

“Yesterday, I saw a group of five firefighters. They walked toward the memorial, and they were holding toys,’’ a man told CBS12 News at the scene of the makeshift memorial.

“And they placed the toys, and they had tears in their eyes,’’ said the man, who was unidentified.

“It’s incredible, it’s just so powerful to think that maybe one of those toys belonged to a child who is unfortunately no longer with us,’’ he added.

Gino Spocchia reports.

Surfside building collapse: Condo firefighters honour missing children with touching tribute

Witness says ‘they placed the toys, and they had tears in their eyes’

Justin Vallejo29 June 2021 19:36

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