US President Joe Biden has said it is still possible to find survivors in the rubble of a building that collapsed last week near Miami in Florida. Speaking after meeting families of people who died or are still missing, he said they were going “through hell”, and that federal funding for the rescue effort would continue for a month.
He also said it was essential to find out what caused the collapse. Eighteen bodies have been recovered but 145 people are still unaccounted for.
Rescue efforts resumed on Thursday evening after a 15-hour halt amid concerns about the stability of the remaining structure of the Champlain Towers South. Nobody has been pulled alive from the rubble since the first hours after the disaster.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said officials were planning for the possible demolition of the remaining structure, and a decision would need to be made “extremely carefully and methodically,” given how it would affect the search-and-rescue mission.
Earlier this week, in an interview with news outlet WPLG, a rescue worker recalled hearing a woman’s voice underneath the debris – and his team’s desperate attempt to get her out. “We were continuously talking to her… ‘Honey we got you. We’re going to get to you’,” the worker said.