Miami Condo Collapse: Why has the search and rescue stopped when people are still missing?

More than a week has passed since the condo collapse in Miami, officials inform the public that the operation will now shift from rescue to recovery.

Miami Condo Collapse: Why has the search and rescue stopped when people are still missing?

More than a week after the Surfside condo collapse outside of Miami Florida, officials have informed the public that the operation will be transitioning from rescue to a recovery mission.

On 24 June, fifty-five of one hundred thirty-six units of a condo in Surfside Florida collapsed leaving sixty dead and more than eighty still missing in the rubble. This tragic disaster took those in the US and around the world by surprise and officials are looking for answers.

The unfortunate truth is that responders are shifting focus to recovery because so much time has passed that the likelihood of finding survivors is nearly impossible. Recovery will be focused on finding the remains of victims and collecting evidence as to why the building collapsed.

Miami Mayor Daniella Levine Cava made the announcement during a press conference on 7 July, saying “To share this news with the families this evening who are still missing their loved ones was devastating and it's also difficult to share with all of you.”

The transition occurred at midnight 8 July and will continue for as long as it is deemed necessary. However, many tasked with overseeing the operation are concerned as Hurricane Elsa is expected to move into the region soon which could slow does their efforts.

Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky stated that the decision was made based on several compounding factors. One of the main factors was the way the building collapsed, known as a pancake “gives you the lowest probability of survivability," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Chief of Operations Raide Jadallah. Following up, Jadallah continued saying that "Typically an individual has a specific amount of time, in regards to lack of food, water and air. This collapse, you know, just doesn't provide any of that sort."

What is being done to prevent this sort of disaster in the future?

The State Attorney representing Miami-Dade Country, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, said that she had requested the grand jury to "look into how we can prevent such a disaster,” and that the group “enthusiastically agreed to accept this challenge.”

Attorney Fernandez Rundle is not only interested in protecting residents in Florida and would like the case to serve as an example and warning across the nation.