Rescue teams heard a woman call for help under the rubble of the collapsed condominium tower in Surfside during their “first search and rescue efforts” in the area last week, the fire chief said Thursday. from Miami-Dade, Alan Cominsky.
Search and rescue dog has detected someone trapped under a mountain of concrete just hours after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo on June 24, as reported by the Miami Herald. Rescuers initially believed the trapped person was a child but later identified her as an adult female.
Cominsky said Thursday rescuers searched “for several hours” but could not find where the voice was coming from.
Finally, they stopped hearing it.
A rescue worker who spoke to Local 10 this week said the woman was trapped on the lower level of the building, now inside the garage, and “begged to be out of there”. An email from the supervisor obtained by the station stated that crews spoke to him 10 to 11 hours after the collapse, but a fire forces the crew to back up “as we know she is deceased.”
“Unfortunately, we weren’t successful,” Cominsky said Thursday.
The firefighters had to fight for several days against a fire “deep” under the rubble. They used heavy equipment to dig a big trench to help fight the blaze, which Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said was “hampering” search efforts.
She said crews were working non-stop under the rubble to stop it, using infrared technology, foam, water and other tactics to contain the fire and minimize the smoke, which had spread. across the pile and was the “biggest barrier” to the search and – rescue mission. The blaze was extinguished earlier this week, but the research now faces more complications.
Crews had to suspend search efforts early Thursday due to concerns that the remaining part of the 12-story tower could collapse. Authorities have so far confirmed 18 deaths. There are 145 people missing.
Cominsky said he did not know when search and rescue operations would continue, but was meeting with structural engineers on Thursday to develop a resumption plan. He said his main goal was to save the victims and ensure the safety of rescue teams.