The search for victims of the collapse of a Miami-area high-rise condominium reached its 14th day on Wednesday, with the death toll at three dozen, more than 100 people still unaccounted for and authorities sounding more and more grim.
Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told family members in a private briefing Wednesday that workers had pulled 10 more bodies and additional human remains from the rubble, raising the death toll.
Crews dug through pulverized concrete where the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside once stood, filling buckets that were passed down a line to be emptied and then returned.
The up-close look at the search, in a video released Tuesday by the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Department, came as eight more deaths were announced — the most for a single day since the search began. It also came as rain and wind from Tropical Storm Elsa disrupted the effort, though the storm was on track to make landfall far across the state.
Searchers have found no new signs of survivors, and although authorities said their mission was still geared toward finding people alive, they sounded increasingly somber.
“Right now, we’re in search and rescue mode,” the county's police director, Freddy Ramirez, said at a news conference Tuesday evening. He soon added: “Our primary goal right now is to bring closure to the families.”
No one has been rescued from the site since the first hours after the building collapsed on June 24 when many of its residents were asleep.
Searchers were still looking for any open spaces within the mounds of rubble where additional survivors might be found, said the county's fire chief, Alan Cominsky.
“Unfortunately, we are not seeing anything positive,” he said. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the families of the missing were preparing for news of “tragic loss.” She said President Joe Biden, who visited the area last week, called Tuesday to offer his continued support.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.