Rescue efforts at the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida, officially ended late on Wednesday night as officials have said there is no chance of life in the rubble.
Six victims were recovered on Thursday morning, bringing the death toll to 60 and the number of unaccounted to 80. Of those who were recovered, 35 have been identified.
Thursday marks two weeks since the building collapsed in the early morning of 24 June. “Over the last 14 days, you all know our search and rescue teams … have been digging through this collapse. They’ve used every possible strategy and every piece of technology available to them to find people in the rubble,” the Miami-Dade mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, said on Wednesday, adding that rescuers have removed more than 7m pounds of concrete and debris from the mound.
On Wednesday, the rescue teams held a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the collapse to mark the transition of the rescue mission into recovery efforts.
The Florida state attorney’s office announced on Wednesday that a grand jury in Miami-Dade had agreed to investigate building safety policies following a request from the state attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, according to the Miami Herald. The grand jury will explore “recommendations to prevent such a disaster from occurring again, not just in Surfside”, Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. The grand jury will also investigate the cause of the collapse.
A former Florida state representative told NBC News that condos were once required by law to plan for repairs, but the law was repealed in 2010 after pushback from real estate lawyers and property managers. Recent reports have revealed infighting between condo residents at Champlain Towers South over the cost and scope of necessary repairs halted work that needed to be done on the building.
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