Miami building collapse – Family of missing student scream her name as rescuers dig 125ft tunnel to find survivors
FAMILY members of a student who is missing after part of an apartment block collapsed in Miami are screaming her name in the hope that she will hear them.
Search and rescue teams have dug a 125ft tunnel in a bid to find any survivors from the debris after the Surfside condo collapsed around 1:30am on Thursday.
Nicole Langsfeld and her husband Luis Sadovnic are among at least 150 people missing and family members call her name in a hope that she may hear them, Mail Online reports.
CNN reporter Faith Karimi said: “Nicole Langsfeld's uncle told me when they got there, they took turns screaming out her name, hoping she'd hear them beneath the rubble.”
Nicole is an animal lover and family members said she would’ve moved an elephant into her apartment if she could.
Search and rescue teams are working 24 hours a day on the site of Champlain Towers South and have dug a tunnel that is 125ft long, 40ft deep, and 20ft wide.
This allows emergency crews to get access to the layers of the collapsed condo where it’s hoped that survivors may found in the voids, The Telegraph reports.
It comes as Miami Beach issued a state of emergency following similar declarations from Miami-Dade County and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
President Joe Biden also signed an emergency declaration over the building collapse last week and ordered federal assistance to the area.
The declaration will ensure that Miami Beach is recuperated for some of the costs as it has supported emergency services in Surfside.
Local sites and streets have been used as staging areas and command centers, according to CBS affiliate WFOR-TV.
Miami-Dade County mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed the death toll had rose from five to nine on Sunday.
She told reporters: "As of today, one victim passed away in the hospital, and we've recovered eight more victims on-site, so I am confirming today that the death toll is at nine.”
Among the victims is Luis Bermúdez, a 26-year-old man from Puerto Rico.
He had an apartment block on the seventh floor and was killed when it collapsed.
Luis branded himself a “man with a big heart” and who had “big dreams and ideas”, Miami Herald reports.
The 26-year-old suffered from muscular dystrophy and had difficulty using his hands and fingers but launched his own clothing firm called “Saucy Boyz Clothing”.
His father also named Luis posted on Facebook: “My Luiyo. You gave me everything. I will miss you all my life… I will never leave you alone.”
He accompanied the post with a picture of him and his son with the message: “DEP Luiyo”, which translates as "rest in peace".
Miami-Dade cops also confirmed that Luis' mom Ana Ortiz, 46, had also died in the accident.
At least 150 people are still missing days after the Florida condo collapsed.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett promised on Sunday that rescue crews will continue working night and day to recover the missing people from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South.
Miami authorities are conducting an investigation into the condo collapse, though an official cause behind the devastation has yet to be determined.
After the collapse, Cava said there were "structural" issues and said engineers are working to determine the risk and cause of the tragedy.
The building was built in 1981 and was undergoing roof work for about 30 days before the accident happened in the early hours of June 24.
A 2018 engineering report done by Morabito Consultants claimed that the building's "failed waterproofing" was causing "major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas."
It stated: “Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially.”
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