Surfside tower collapse: ‘Zero’ hope of finding survivors


Rescue teams combing the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in Florida are switching from a search-and-rescue mission to a recovery effort.

The decision comes about two weeks after the 12-storey Champlain Towers South fell in the middle of the night.

Fifty-four victims have been found and 86 are still missing, Surfside city officials said.

No survivors have been found since the initial collapse, and rescue crews say many victims were found in their beds.

News that the rescue mission was ending came during a private meeting on Wednesday between families of the missing and Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said: “Today’s news is extremely tough.

“We’ve all worked passionately day and night for two weeks to save lives. The announcement today comes as a result of a consensus by those closest to the rescue efforts that the possibility of someone still alive is near zero.

“And while there seems to be no chance of finding life in the rubble, a miracle is still possible.”

The teams had been working in continuous 12-hour shifts, and were assisted by crews from Israel and Mexico.

The death toll jumped by 10 on Wednesday, following Surfiside officials saying they were able to remove a large section of concrete.

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