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Surfside Condo search and rescue effort paused amid concern remaining portion will collapse

Kendall Tietz, DCNF

The search and rescue mission underway at a collapsed condominium in Surfside, Florida, was halted Thursday due to safety concerns over the remaining part of the building, Reuters reported.

There are concerns that the rest of the building could collapse after moving debris were identified, Reuters reported. Workers at the site of the collapse were ordered to stop working on Thursday around 2 a.m.

President Joe Biden is visiting the Miami suburb to comfort families of the victims. The death toll is currently 18 with 145 people still missing among the rubble, Reuters reported.

The Champlain Towers South condominium partially collapsed in the middle of the night last Thursday while its residents slept. The search for survivors has been ongoing since.

Biden said he expected the federal government to cover the cost and offered the state “whatever you need,” in a joint press conference with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday.

It isn’t clear when the operation will resume, but Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levin Cava said at a news briefing Thursday it would continue as soon as it is deemed safe and that Biden’s visit “will have no impact on what happens at the site.”

Officials at the briefing also discussed the development of Tropical Storm Elsa, which could reach southern Florida by Monday and further impact search and rescue operations.

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