Ten more bodies were recovered Wednesday from the rubble of the Surfside, Florida, condominium collapse as the search and rescue mission reached its 14th day, the Associated Press reported.
The death toll is now at 46 and officials’ hopes of finding anyone alive dwindle with each passing day, the AP reported. Officials attribute the faster recovery effort to the demolition of the remaining standing portion of the building that was brought down Sunday night.
Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah broke the news about the discovery of new bodies and human remains to family members Wednesday morning during a private briefing, the AP reported. He also told families that the operation had not switched to recovery mode and the search-and-rescue mission was still underway.
Rescuers hoped to find new spots after the demolition where survivors could be trapped, but Jadallah said no new “voids” have been found in newly accessible areas, the AP reported. No survivors have been found since the building collapsed on June 24.
“Unfortunately, we are not seeing anything positive,” county fire chief Alan Cominsky said Tuesday night, the AP reported.
Families of the missing are preparing for “tragic loss,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday. “I think everybody will be ready when it’s time to move to the next phase.”
Crews have removed 124 tons of debris from the rescue site, according to Cominsky, the AP reported. The building remains were taken to a warehouse to be sorted and used as potential evidence for an investigation of the collapse.
Strong winds and lightning in the area as a result of tropical storm Elsa hampered rescue efforts and impacted officials’ decision to demolish the rest of the building. Rescue efforts were paused for a couple of hours Tuesday and 20 mph winds restricted the ability to use cranes for heavy debris, officials told the AP.
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