THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Nearly 160 were missing as of Friday morning after a Miami beach condo collapsed Thursday, and that number will likely change after rescuers clawed through rubble searching for survivors. 

Four are confirmed dead, a toll sure to rise as officials called it the worst building failure in Florida history. Indeed, rescuers were sifting through this kind of rubble caused by the worst terrorist actions on U.S. soil, including the Oklahoma City Bombing and the 9/11 attacks, and they used search-and-rescue techniques learned from those tragedies.

“It looks like a bomb went off,” said Surfside, Fla. Mayor Charles Burkett. “In the United States, buildings just don’t fall down … We’ve got to understand what happened here … But today’s not the day for that. Today’s the day to try to save as many people as we can.”

President Joe Biden authorized federal assistance and was expected to address the tragedy today.

Although a bomb didn’t cause the condo to sheer off, no one yet knows what happened. Some residents complained of structural integrity before the collapse of the 40-year-old building, although a lawyer who represents the resident association said the condos seemed to just have the kind of wear brought on by rust from ocean salts and time. A resident filed a lawsuit in 2015 alleging that poor maintenance allowed water to enter through cracks, damaging her unit, and her lawyer said the cracks were related to the “structural integrity and serious disrepair” of the building. 

“About a month ago I was standing on the balcony and saying, ‘This is not safe,'” said Adriana Gonzalez Chi, sister of missing Champlain Towers resident Edgar Gonzalez. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Buried Alive: How Long Can You Live without Food or Water? – HuffPost – 3/29/2010
It’s the hardest question for rescue and recovery teams: When to stop searching after a natural disaster and let the bulldozers go to work.

Miami building collapse: What happened, and how quickly? – BBC News – 6/25/2021
A large section of Champlain Towers, on the seafront in the town of Surfside, crumbled to the ground in the early hours of Thursday. It took just a few seconds.

Mom falls 4 floors in Miami building collapse, pulls daughter from rubble – Newsweek – 6/25/2021
A woman who fell four floors in the collapse of a condo complex in Surfside, Florida and broke her pelvis still managed to pull herself and her teenage daughter out of the rubble.

After the collapse of Surfside’s Champlain tower: a day of dread, helplessness, heroism – Miami Herald – 6/25/2021
A sound — almost like thunder that lasted just a bit too long — roused people out of bed in Surfside early Thursday morning. Those who looked out their windows saw a wall of smoke-like debris billowing out from the corner of 88th Street and Collins Avenue, obscuring their view of the 12-story Champlain Towers South Condo that had occupied that stretch of beachfront for 40 years. When the dust cleared, half the tower was gone.

‘This is a gut-wrenching scene.’ How to help victims of the Surfside condo collapse – Miami Herald – 6/25/2021
From the Greater Miami Jewish Federation to Florida Blue, here are ways victims can find aid and others can help donate supplies.

Could the increasing assault of king tides and sea level rise have contributed to Miami condo collapse? – The Palm Beach Post – 6/25/2021
Saltwater and brine-soaked air settle into the pores of coastal construction, growing a rusty crust around the steel skeletons that reinforce oceanfront structures. It weakens the bonds between metal and concrete creating cracks and crumbles in vulnerable areas.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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