Demolition of collapsed condominium tower in Florida to start tonight

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In this handout image dated July 2, 2021, search and rescue workers are working on the site of a collapsed Florida condominium complex in Surfside, Miami, USA.

MIAMI DADE FIRE DEPARTMENT | about REUTERS

The demolition of the partially collapsed condo tower in Surfside, Florida will begin on Sunday evening, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

The demolition will take place between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., Levine Cava said during a press conference on Sunday evening. According to the Miami-Dade police, residents in the protection zone should stay indoors with immediate effect.

The shelter’s layout will be lifted two hours after the demolition is complete, Levine Cava said. Residents should close all windows, doors and air intakes.

The demolition is carried out through a technique called “energetic felling,” which relies on gravity to demolish the building with small designations and limit the collapse to the area of ​​the building, according to Levine Cava.

“The demolition is limited to the immediate vicinity of the building,” said the mayor. “However, there is dust and other particles that are an inevitable by-product of all types of demolition, and as a precautionary measure, we ask residents in the immediate vicinity to stay indoors during the demolition.”

The demolition of the remaining portion of the Champlain Towers South condominium is taking place because engineers believed it was structurally unsuitable and a hazard to the workers performing search and rescue operations for the dozen of people trapped under the rubble in Surfside, Florida .

No one has been rescued since the first hours of the collapse. The death toll had risen to 24 by Saturday, 121 are still missing. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis said during a press conference early Saturday that the state will pay for all costs of the demolition.

Search and rescue operations on the building, which collapsed 11 days ago, were temporarily suspended on Saturday afternoon in order to carry out demolition preparations, which included drilling the remaining pillars of the building. The search will resume as soon as the rest of the building has been completely removed.

The officials initially thought it could take weeks to demolish. Plans to demolish the remaining structure were accelerated, however, amid concerns that Tropical Storm Elsa could hit Florida early next week, further threatening the unstable structure with heavy rains and winds.

The demolition is carried out through a technique called “Energetic Precipitation” which relies on gravity to demolish the building with small designations and limit the collapse to the area of ​​the building.

The cause of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South, built in the 1980s, is still unknown. However, an engineering firm filed a 2018 report warning of cracks and major structural damage under the building’s pool deck.

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