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'Deep fire' slowing rescue effort at collapsed Florida condo

APTOPIX Building Collapse Miami
Posted at 11:15 AM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 17:25:05-04

SURFSIDE, Fla. -- Officials say a “very deep fire” is hampering rescue efforts at a collapsed oceanfront condominium near Miami, where authorities are racing to recover more victims beneath the rubble.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says rescuers are using infrared technology, water and foam to battle the blaze, whose source is unclear. Smoke has been the biggest challenge.

One hundred fifty-nine people remain unaccounted for since the collapse on Thursday. At least four were killed.

Authorities also announced Saturday they are beginning an audit of buildings nearing their 40-year review — like the fallen Champlain Towers South — to make sure they’re safe.

A 2018 engineering report said that the oceanfront condominium building that collapsed this week near Miami had “major structural damage” to a concrete structural slab below its pool deck that needed extensive repairs.

The engineering report did not warn of imminent danger from the damage.

But it did note the need for costly repairs to fix the slab as well as damaged concrete columns beams and walls.