Miami-Dade Fire Rescue shares video of rescue teams drilling through basement of collapsed condo

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(NEXSTAR) – First responders with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue are working tirelessly to locate possible survivors following the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers condo in Surfside, video from the garage of the apartment complex shows.

On Thursday evening, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) shared footage to Twitter appearing to show firefighters and rescue technicians drilling through a wall in the basement parking garage of the Surfside apartment building. Search and rescue teams with the MDFR’s Florida Task Force-1 and Technical Rescue Team were among those working to free trapped residents, the MDFR indicated.

In the video, workers were also seen wading through knee-deep waters in the basement’s garage.

#MDFR #TRT & #FLTF1 are working in the basement parking garage at Champlain Towers. Firefighters continue working on locating possible victims, while dealing with heavy damage and changing conditions in the parking garage. #SurfsideBuildingCollapse pic.twitter.com/qseknk0T8q

— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 24, 2021

“Firefighters continue working on locating possible victims, while dealing with heavy damage and changing conditions in the parking garage,” wrote Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in its tweet.


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Rescue crews continue to search for signs of life from both above and below the 30-plus foot pile of rubble following the building’s partial collapse on Thursday. Cranes are being used to remove debris from the top while workers simultaneously tunnel with jackhammers from below, Assistant Miami-Dade Fire Chief Raide Jadallah said.

“Any time that we hear a sound, we concentrate in that area,” Jadallah said during a news conference on 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.”

Approximately 130 firefighters are part of the recovery efforts, in addition to other first-responders and rescue teams.

#MDFR continues to work tirelessly as search and rescue efforts are ongoing in the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse. All the resources we have available, including local assets from partner agencies are being brought in to assist. pic.twitter.com/fs20qcchZX

— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 25, 2021

As of Friday morning, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the total number of persons who are still unaccounted for as risen to 159.

“In addition, we can tragically report the death count is now 4,” she said at a news conference. The mayor added, however, that these numbers remain “fluid.”


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President Joe Biden has also approved an emergency declaration for the state of Florida, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in disaster relief efforts and provide necessary resources “to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” the White House announced.

Resources for condo residents and their families are currently being offered at a family reunification center where they can obtain food, shelter, cash and grief counseling, Mayor Daniella Levine Cara said. She is also urging those “far and wide” to donate to relief efforts at SupportSurfside.org.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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