NATIONAL NEWS

Rescuers Focus On Detecting Sounds Of Survivors In Rubble

Jun 25, 2021, 10:31 AM
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel continue search and rescue operations in the partially collapsed 1...
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel continue search and rescue operations in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 25, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Over one hundred people are being reported as missing as search-and-rescue effort continues with rescue crews from across Miami-Dade and Broward counties. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Search and rescue teams worked through the night, encountering rainstorms and small fires in the rubble, hoping to detect any sounds coming from survivors following the collapse of a beachside condominium complex near Miami.

The crews, which include some 130 firefighters working in teams, are approaching the pile from above and below as they search for any signs of life in what had been a wing of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida.

Overnight, crews pulled three bodies from the pile, bringing the official death toll to four, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. The tower collapsed early Thursday, leaving 159 people unaccounted for, she said. But Friday’s focus remained on finding survivors among the rubble, which is more than 30 feet (9 meters) high.

Crews have heard some tapping and other noises, but Assistant Miami-Dade Fire Chief Raide Jadallah emphasized that the rescuers don’t know whether the sounds are human-made or just caused by the settling of the huge mass of concrete, metal and other belongings lost in the collapse.

“Any time that we hear a sound, we concentrate in that area,” Jadallah said during a news conference Friday morning. “It could be just steel twisting, it could be debris raining down, but not specifically sounds of tapping or sounds of a human voice.”

Crane operators are meticulously picking up large pieces of concrete and other heavy debris from the pile using large claws, creating a sound of crashing glass and metal as they pick up a haul and dump it to the side as crews look on. The cranes periodically come to a pause, allowing firefighters a chance to pick up and remove lighter debris.

At the same time, other firefighters are tunneling from below, using saws and jackhammers, to search for pockets in the rubble, Jadallah said.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said the removal of the debris should make it safer for rescuers to tunnel into pockets where survivors might be trapped.

“Right now we are picking up dangerous pieces that look like they could fall on our search and rescue guys,” he said.

Periodic downpours, as well as strong winds, were adding to the challenges. A fire somewhere deep within the rubble was also a concern. “We’re working around that, it’s not stopping us,” the mayor said.

Levine Cava said it is “incredibly motivating” to watch the search and rescue teams.

“This work is being done at extreme risk to these individuals. Debris is falling on them as they do their work,” she said. “We have structural engineers on site to ensure that they will not be injured but they are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk on the site every day.”

Jadallah said firefighters know the risk, but are driven by the hope of finding survivors.

“This is the risk that we take: it’s the risk vs. benefit,” he said. “Every time that we have that belief that there’s hope with personnel that are trapped, we do risk our lives.”

___

Frisaro reported from Fort Lauderdale.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

A masked suspect is seen lighting a Molotov cocktail in front of Temple Ner Tamid in a still image ...
Celina Tebor, Isa Kaufman-Geballe and Zoe Sottile

Man throws Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue in arson attempt, police say

A man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt on Sunday morning, police and the synagogue said.
1 day ago
Annie Wersching, seen here in 2019, has passed away. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)...
Chuck Johnston and Alli Rosenbloom

Annie Wersching, ’24’ actress, passes away at 45

Actress Annie Wersching passed away of cancer early Sunday morning, her publicist, Craig Schneider told CNN. Wersching was 45 years old.
1 day ago
Authorities in Grants Pass, Oregon, are warning that suspect Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, may be tr...
Andy Rose and Nouran Salahieh

Oregon man suspected of kidnapping, beating a woman may be using dating apps to evade police

Oregon police are warning that a man suspected of kidnapping a woman and beating her unconscious may now be using dating apps to evade capture or find potential new victims.
1 day ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy speaks during the United States Conf...
Allison Gordon and Pamela Brown

Surgeon General says 13 is ‘too early’ to join social media

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms.
1 day ago
Saginaw Police K9 Cigan sits behind a table with evidence found inside a stolen car. (WNEM)...
Anna Kathman

Stolen vehicle, multiple drugs located by Michigan K9 officer

Saginaw Police said two suspects are behind bars after a stolen vehicle was located during a traffic stop by a K9 officer.
1 day ago
A 29-year old woman has been arrested after allegedly posing as a teenager and attending classes at...
Kiely Westhoff and Zoe Sottile, CNN

29-year-old woman posed as high school teen facing charges in New Jersey, police say

A 29-year-old New Jersey woman is facing charges over claims she used false government documents in a ploy to pose as a teenager at a high school, according to police.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Rescuers Focus On Detecting Sounds Of Survivors In Rubble