Nearly two weeks after the last victims of the Surfside, Florida, residential condo building collapse were extracted from the rubble alive, emergency teams have made the decision to switch from a search and rescue effort over to a recovery effort.
According to the Associated Press, Miami Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah informed families Wednesday afternoon that they would no longer use dogs and listening devices, both of which were deployed when rescue teams were looking for survivors. “Our sole responsibility at this point is to bring closure,” said Jadallah.
As of Wednesday evening, shortly after 5:00 p.m., the official death toll was at 54, of whom 33 have been identified. In addition, the whereabouts of 86 people are still unknown to officials, which means that they may or may not have been in the building.
“At this point we have truly exhausted every option available to us in the search and rescue mission,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a press