At a press conference on Wednesday night, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced that Surfside crews would move on to a salvage operation in their search for victims after the apartment collapsed there. almost two weeks ago.
CAVA DANIELLA LEVINE: It is with deep, deep sadness that this afternoon I am able to share the extremely difficult decision to move from search and rescue to recovery. It has now been exactly two weeks since the South Champlain Tower collapsed. And over the past 14 days, you all know that our search and rescue teams in our local community, across Florida, across the country, and indeed, around the world, have deepened this collapse.
They used every possible strategy and every technology at their disposal to find people in the rubble. They removed over seven million pounds of concrete and debris from the mound. They used sonar, cameras, dogs, heavy machinery. They looked for empty spaces. And they searched for victims.
They ran into a building that they had been told could collapse. And they braved fire, smoke, torrential rains and high winds in the hope of finding people alive. We demolished the standing building in just a few days so that we could extend access to the entire collapsed site.
Our top priority throughout this operation from day one has been to do everything possible, everything humanly possible, and explore every portion of the collapsed grid for survivors. I could not be more proud of our extraordinary team, the men and women from here and around the world who have given this research everything they have day after day, the men and women whose lives are guided. by a single objective. – to save the lives of others.
At this point, we have truly exhausted all the options available to us in the search and rescue mission. So today it is about starting the transition to recovery so that we can help end the families who are suffering and waiting for news. Nothing we can do can bring back those we have lost. But we can and will do everything in our power to identify all the victims and offer closure to families at this time of unimaginable mourning.