Search in Florida collapse to take weeks; deaths reach 90

The search and rescue authorities in Florida said it was difficult to say when the operation will be over since the location of the final body cannot be determined as a team of first responders from Israel departed the site.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava have confirmed 90 deaths. Among them are 71 bodies that have been identified, and their families have been notified, she said. Some 31 people remain listed as missing.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said three young children were among those recently identified.

Crews continued to search the remaining pile of rubble, peeling layer after layer of debris in search of bodies.

Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said it was uncertain when recovery operations would be completed because it remains hard to know when the final body would be found.

When the recovery phase began Wednesday, officials were hoping it could be done within three weeks.

Cominsky on Sunday said it might take at least two weeks, based on the current pace of work.

“We were looking at a 14-day to 21-day timeframe,” he said, adding that the timeline remained “a sliding scale.”

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett stressed the care that rescue workers are taking in peeling back layers of rubble in hopes of recovering not only bodies but also possessions of the victims.

On Saturday night, members of the community walked along Collins Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, to celebrate the crews that have come from across the country to help in the rescue, and now recovery, effort.

The Israeli team joined other task forces from around the United States to assist first responders from Miami and Miami-Dade County, working in 12-hour shifts.

They have searched through South Florida’s intense summer heat, and in pouring rain, pausing only when lightning was spotted nearby.

The Israeli team used blueprints of the building to create detailed 3D images of the disaster site to aid in the search.

Levina Cava said the memorial walk on Saturday night was “a beautiful moment.”

She gave the keys to the county to the Israeli commander and colonel – her first two handed out as mayor.

Four teams from Florida, Indiana and Pennsylvania are still dedicated to the recovery effort, Cominsky said. Teams from Virginia, New Jersey and Ohio are preparing to leave.

“To give you an answer when we feel we’ll recover everyone, I can’t give you an exact date,” the fire chief said.

https://www.thestatesman.com/world/search-florida-collapse-take-weeks-deaths-reach-90-1502980886.html

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