Harrowing stories of the scores of missing people are emerging after the Surfside condo collapsed more than a week ago, killing probably more than a hundred people.
It has been reported that the voice of a woman was heard for hours after the building came crashing down and the rescuers set about the task of pulling people frim under the rubble.
Trapped in the Rubble
Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky has now revealed that the firemen kept hearing the voice of a female trapped in the debris for hours in the initial phase of the rescue effort. The rescuers continued digging in the direction from where the voice was heard, but they could not reach the trapped person in time.
The woman kept calling out for help for hours but she was not reached for hours and eventually the voice stopped.
"Eventually we didn't hear her voice anymore ... we continued to search ... 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 ... Unfortunately, we didn't have success," Cominsky told reporters during a news conference on Thursday.
145 People Unaccounted For
A week after the tragedy hit Champlain Towers South in Surfside, the number of unaccounted for people stands at 145.
Meanwhile, search operations were halted on Thursday as there were fears that the other half of the building might also crash. According to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, there were concerns about the standing structure and the families of the missing people were informed that search and rescue operation will continue "as soon as it is safe to do so."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will give more than $20 million to support Florida carry out rescue operations at the the Champlain Towers South collapse site.
The 12-storey Champlain Towers South Condo on Collins Avenue in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach, collapsed with a loud bang on Thursday last week. According to the witnesses the tragedy happened when most residents were still in bed. The tower crumpled with "a bang that just kept on going," they said.
Sinking For Decades?
Following the collapse, a report by the New York Post said the building was 'sinking for decades'. The paper cited a 2020 study conducted by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor at Florida International University, which found the building was in bad shape.
It was reported earlier this week that a consulting agency had told Surfside officials in 2018 that waterproofing under the pool deck of the condominium had failed and was preventing water from draining off.
"The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas. Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially," the consulting group had said, according to the Associated Press.