Miami condo rescue work halted over fears remaining structure will topple

Thursday - 01/07/2021 14:28
Site evacuated after workers reported sounds of shifting inside still-standing 12-storey section while death toll at 18
Search and rescue teams look for possible survivors in Surfside, Florida, on 30 June. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Search and rescue teams look for possible survivors in Surfside, Florida, on 30 June. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rescue work at a Miami condo block that collapsed one week ago, killing at least 18 and leaving 145 more unaccounted for, was halted early on Thursday amid fears the remaining structure would also topple.

Workers reported hearing sounds of shifting inside the still-standing 12-storey section of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside overnight and evacuated the disaster site out of safety concerns.

The halt came exactly seven days after the oceanside section of the building suddenly collapsed in the early hours of last Thursday, killing residents as they slept, and the same day Joe Biden is scheduled to visit to observe the rescue work and comfort families of the scores still missing.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Elsa formed in the Atlantic early on Thursday, with forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicting a path that could bring the cyclone towards south Florida, and potentially over the site of collapse, as soon as Tuesday.

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