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MIAMI, FL – The remaining sections of the Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside, Florida – part of which suddenly and tragically collapsed on June 24 – were leveled in a controlled demolition Sunday night due to an abundance of safety concerns, reports say.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the move was necessary in order for search and rescue teams to continue combing the rubble for survivors who may be trapped underneath, as the remaining structure had grow far too unstable and presented a potential major risk to first responders.
At about 10:30 p.m., the rigged explosives were set off, leveling the building and leaving behind a cloud of dust and debris over the area. Local area residents were notified to make sure their windows were tightly shut to avoid letting in dust.
First responders were instructed to remain on stand-by until given the word by the demolition team that it was safe to proceed with their search and rescue efforts, at which time they resumed immediately.
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So far, over 121 residents of the Champlain Towers South are still considered missing, with over 24 confirmed as dead; that number is expected to grow as rescue teams continue to comb the wreckage where the building once stood.
In addition to the loss of human life, many residents who survived have either reported that they have lost beloved pets or were forced to leave them behind.
One woman, according to reports, had filed a last-minute emergency petition with a court in an attempt to gain permission to enter the remaining section of the building in order to retrieve an emotional support cat for its 89 year-old owner. Firefighters attempted to rescue the animal, reportedly named Coco, but were unsuccessful, and instead let the cat food and water.
The woman, who was willing to release building ownership and authorities from all liability should she have been injured while retrieving Coco, unfortunately had her petition rejected by a judge due to the risks involved; Champlain Towers South was demolished just one hour later.