Rescue efforts at the condo-crash site are halted by safety concerns

Officials said that rescue efforts at the Florida condominium building that was partially destroyed by fire were stopped Thursday because of concerns about its stability. Crews observed widening cracks, and as much as a foot movement in one large column.

Rescue efforts at the condo-crash site are halted by safety concerns

The blockage that started shortly after 2 a.m. threatened search teams from being able to access the rubble pile for unknown periods and dim hope of finding anyone alive within the rubble one week after the tower fell.

Rescue operations were launched on the same day President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden visited devastated communities.

At least 18 people were killed and 145 others missing when the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium collapsed on the beachfront. Many search-and rescue personnel searched the rubble in the aftermath of the collapse for signs of life. However, no one was rescued.

Biden stated that "this is life and death," during a briefing. It is possible to do it. All that is required is for everyone to make a difference.

He said, "There's going to be a lot pain and anxiety and suffering, and even the need of psychological help in the days or months that follow." "And so, it's not going anywhere."

Crews discovered expansions in cracks that they had been watching and stopped rescue work. According to Chief Alan Cominsky of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, there was also 6-12 inches of movement in the large column suspended from the structure. This could have caused damage to the support columns in the underground garage.

He also said that they observed movement in the debris pile as well as slight movement in concrete floor slabs. "That could lead to additional failure of the building."

Cominsky stated that officials will collaborate with structural engineers and other experts in order to "develop options" for continuing rescue operations.

Scott Nacheman (a Federal Emergency Management Agency structures specialist) said that sensors have been placed around critical points since the rescue operation started. According to him, there were alarming signs of movement Wednesday night at 3 locations.

Nacheman stated Thursday that "What was of particular concern was that we hadn't seen that type of significant movement over the past six days or in some places any movement in that structure element" during a briefing for relatives.

Cominsky stated that rescuers can also use laser devices to detect shifts of just a few millimeters.

He said, "We are continuously monitoring the building."

Nacheman said vibrations were caused by heavy equipment in the rubble pile. Rainwater has been entering the building from the outside, adding weight and saturating the items.

Nacheman stated that if you want to stop further water damage, or tear down the building, it is a risk of additional death. This would mean sending people back inside. Demolition could also create additional debris in areas that have been cleared of rubble.

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