Fire rescue crews leave site of Surfside condo collapse after month-long response

·2 min read

Miami-Dade County announced on Friday that fire rescue crews who have been at the site of the Surfside condo collapse since the night of the tragedy will be handing over the remainder of the recovery effort to Miami-Dade Police.

Search and rescue workers from multiple departments across South Florida have been mobilized for a month since Champlain Towers South partially collapsed in the early morning hours of June 24. Two South Florida urban search and rescue teams are being sent home, according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

Now, with the entirety of the rubble from the collapsed relocated, the continued search for human remains and personal items amid tons of concrete and steel will transition over to county police.

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“The men and women of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue ran into a collapsed building on the early morning of June 24 and haven’t stopped since,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, in a statement. “They are true superheroes who have stepped up to serve this community in the wake of unprecedented disaster — not just by leading the search and rescue and recovery operation but through the care and compassion they demonstrated to all the families, doing everything they could to bring closure to those who lost loved ones.”

Authorities have identified 97 people killed in the collapse, but believe there is one more victim who died in the disaster and remains unaccounted for.

The site of the collapse at 8777 Collins Ave. was cleared this week after workers spent weeks filling trucks with broken concrete and steel to be hauled away to a site near Miami International Airport, where crews continue to search for human remains in the relocated rubble.

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Miami-Dade police will continue combing through debris, which is being spread out in a shorter pile at the collection site for replacement search dogs to continue looking for remains.

“We’re also very grateful to [the] Miami-Dade Police Department, which has been leading the investigation since the beginning, and now continues the challenging work of continuing to sift through millions of pounds of debris, searching for remains and personal items to bring closure to families,” Levine Cava said.

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