Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the plan at a press conference.
“We’re proceeding with planning for the likely demolition of the building while the search and rescue continues as our top priority,” Ms Cava said on Thursday evening
The mayor did not say when the demolition would occur, and emphasized that the search for survivors would continue.
“I’m very glad that I can share with you that starting at 4:45pm today we resumed our search and rescue efforts,” Ms Cava said. “And I have to tell you that our firefighters looked really excited to get back out there.”
Earlier in the day, the search operation had been suspended due to concerns that the still-standing part of the apartment complex could collapse, endangering rescue workers. The planned demolition appears to be a possible solution to that problem.
The mayor also thanked President Joe Biden for his visit earlier in the day, during which he met with local officials, rescue workers, and the families affected by the disaster.
“Jill and I want them to know that we’re with them, and the country is with them,” the president said in a speech in Surfside. “Our message today is that we’re here for you as one nation.”
Mr Biden promised that the federal government would pay all the costs of the rescue effort for at least the first 30 days.
“I think my colleagues will tell you we cut through the bureaucracy,” the president said. “That’s why we’ve decided to cover, for example, 100 per cent of the search and rescue costs for the first 30 days.”
Mr Biden also attended a gathering of families affected by the disaster, where he and First Lady Jill Biden went from table to table speaking to grieving relatives.
Some of those present later expressed their appreciation.
“For him to take his time like he’s taking right now just walking around and talking to every single family, it’s just an amazing act and we appreciate it very much,” Erick de Moura, a resident at Champlain Towers who narrowly avoided the disaster, told The New York Times. “It’s comforting for us.”
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