While Hurricane Elsa moves from the north of Jamaica towards Florida, where in all probability it will become a tropical storm, Miami authorities continue to plan the demolition of the building that remained standing within the Champlain Towers development complex. “On the eleventh day and, coinciding with the celebration of July 4, our Independence party, today is not the one we would have wished for,” declared this Sunday morning, at a press conference, the mayor of Miami-Dade, Daniella Levine Cava. So far, the deceased number 24 and the disappeared number 121.
Since last Thursday, June 24, the 12-storey building collapsed at dawn in the town of Surfside, the rescue services have not stopped working and have only interrupted the search work on some occasion due to heavy rains from this season. With the threat of Elsa about to hit Florida, this weekend it was decided that the time had come to demolish the part of the building that was still standing. While the mayor did not give a specific date for such a delicate event, the head of the Miami-Dade firefighters rescue teams, Ray Jadallah, assured that the demolition would take place this Sunday night.
Quoted by the newspaper The Miami Herald, Jadallah reported that they were considering “some time during the night today [domingo]”Said Jadallah as he left a meeting with relatives of the victims and disappeared of the landslide. Always according to the Herald, the fire chief announced that the professionals who are organizing the controlled demolition have already completed 80% of the drilling where the explosives will be placed to implode the foundations of the block, which should cause the vertical fall of the 12 plants left standing. The head of the fire department stressed that if the search was not stopped, the works themselves could cause the collapse of the structure. “If that happens,” he said, “it will just collapse without warning.”
Until yesterday, Saturday, local politicians maintained that the demolition could take weeks, since the structure is very fragile. However, experts on the ground warned that the apartment tower is in a very precarious balance and that the whipping of Elsa’s rain and wind, which is likely to be felt in the area, could cause it to fall sharply. uncontrolled, which poses a risk and danger to both the rescue teams and the inhabitants of Surfside.
The authorities have been forced to make a painful decision, since they wanted to minimize as much as possible the interruptions in the search for victims so that their relatives could know what had happened to their loved ones and at the same time protect the work crews from danger that involves tracking down the immense pile of rubble and metal. Both the survivors and the families of the missing were informed of the demolition plan by Mayor Levine Cava, who stated that they all understood the situation. “Although of course, everyone is devastated,” said the councilor.
Knowing that there is already a race against the clock, several owners have published an online petition in which they demand that their pets be taken out of the houses before they tear down the property. Levine Cava assured that he understood the concern for companion animals, but assured that the rescue teams had not been able to identify any living being within the fragile structure.
As reported this Sunday by the newspaper The Washington Post, the implosion will be carried out by a Maryland company with a strong record for major construction demolitions. Among them is the demolition, last February, of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.