A TRAPPED woman was heard screaming for hours from the rubble of the collapsed Miami condo building, it was revealed on Thursday.
Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky spoke about the feelings of defeat rescue crews are experiencing a week after the Champlain Towers South building collapsed.
Cominsky explained that during the initial search effort, they heard a woman's voice calling out – and it went on for several hours.
"Eventually we didn't hear her voice anymore … we continued to search," he said. "And, again, that's emphasizing the magnitude of what we're going through.
"The efforts that all of our fire and rescue personnel, everyone that is here on scene, trying to do the best we can in these heroic efforts," Cominsky said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have success."
A week after the condo building fell in the early hours of June 24, 18 people have been declared dead and 145 are still unaccounted for.
What caused the building to collapse is still under investigation, though a recent report shows that workers hired to investigate and remediate concrete damage at the building in October 2020 found such extensive deterioration that they couldn't perform their work.
Workers from Concrete Protection and Restoration and Marabito Consultants found such extensive concrete deterioration and corrosion of reinforcement that some repair work had to be put on hold because they feared it might affect the stability of nearby areas, according to a report obtained by USA Today.
The report says full repairs weren't possible because the pool "was to remain in service for the duration of the work" and the necessary aggressive excavation of concrete at the pool "could affect the stability of the remaining adjacent concrete constructions."
The new report was uncovered as rescue teams are considering demolishing the remaining parts of the Champlain Towers South building.
The concrete slabs in the remaining pieces have begun to move, according to fire officials, which could put rescue crews in danger.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said that he is preparing for the possibility that the building may have to be demolished, according to WPLG.
"Once the decision is made, I didn't want there to be … another day setting up the demolition if that was the decision, so I directed my building official to start talking to those demolition companies," he said.
The decision will be made by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, according to the outlet.
The site of the collapse was visited by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Thursday.
Biden met with city and state leaders as well as families who are still missing loved ones.
The president praised Mayor Cava and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for coming together in a time of tragedy to lead Surfside through the aftermath of the collapse, despite their differences in political beliefs.
“This is life and death,” the president said. "We can do it, just the simple act of everyone doing what needs to be done makes a difference."
Biden pledged to provide any federal assistance needed to deal with the tragedy.
"There’s gonna be a lot of pain and anxiety and suffering and even the need for psychological help in the days and months that follow. And so, we’re not going anywhere," the president said.
"Whatever you need pick up the phone – for real. I’m not joking about it."
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