Biden will go to Surfside, Florida, apartment tower collapse web site on Thursday


US President Joe Biden leaves Air Force One at Cointrin Airport as he speaks ahead of a meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, on Jan.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Surfside, Florida on Thursday to visit the site of a fatal condominium tower collapse.

Biden told reporters about the upcoming voyage when he boarded Marine One on Tuesday morning en route to Wisconsin.

Search and rescue operations at the site north of Miami Beach will continue five days after the sudden collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South apartment building early Thursday morning.

As of Tuesday, 11 people were dead and 150 missing, according to local officials.

The White House previously said Biden would wait to visit Surfside until he was sure the security and logistics accompanying a presidential visit would not disrupt the ongoing search, rescue and recovery efforts at the Champlain Towers.

In the last few days there have been indications that the 40-year-old apartment building was already showing considerable structural damage in 2018.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden was supporting a state investigation into the cause of the building collapse.

Search and rescue workers remove a stretcher from the rubble of the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South Condo building on June 28, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

“He thinks there should be an investigation,” Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing. “Of course we want to play every constructive role to get to the bottom of this and to prevent it in the future.”

Psaki said there were more than 50 federal agency experts on site at Surfside, including teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, and the FBI.

This is a development story, please check back for updates.