Remaining portion of Surfside condo could be demolished by Sunday night
SURFSIDE, Fla. / AP — Demolition specialists are completing preliminary work on the still-standing portion of a partially collapsed condo in Surfside, which could be demolished as early as Sunday night, officials said.
If the remaining structure is demolished, it would give rescuers access for the first time to parts of the garage area that are a focus of interest, Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah said. That could give a clearer picture of voids that may exist in the rubble and could possibly harbor survivors.
Nearly 80 percent of the drilling needed for demolition has been completed, Jadallah said.
Officials began considering the demolition at Champlain Towers on Thursday when parts of the remaining building shifted, endangering rescuers and prompting a 15-hour suspension in their work.
The search-and-rescue mission at the Surfside building was suspended again on Saturday afternoon so workers could begin the drilling work. Jadallah said the suspension was a necessary safety measure because the drilling could cause the structure to fail.
The detonation will aim to bring the remaining portion of the building straight down and toward the street side, away from the existing debris field, Jadallah said.
Search and rescue efforts should resume between 15 and 60 minutes after the structure is brought down, he said.
Miami-Dade police will go door-to-door to evacuate residents in surrounding buildings in advance of the demolition, Surfside officials said. No one will be allowed in the buildings to the immediate north and south of the collapsed structure.
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