Surfside Turns Sorrowful as Rescue Work Halts on Crucial Day


When it comes to mine collapses, earthquakes, and other cavernous disasters, there is a tacit understanding that rescue efforts are effected by the law of diminishing returns about 7 days in.

It was exactly one week ago today that a high-rise condo in a Miami suburb partially collapsed, trapping or killing up to 150-plus people.  Now, as rescue crews continue to hit roadblock after roadblock, efforts have halted due to worries about the remainder of the building’s integrity.

Rescue efforts at the site of a partially collapsed Florida condominium building were halted Thursday out of concern about the stability of the remaining structure after crews noticed widening cracks and up to a foot of movement in a large column, officials said.

The stoppage that began shortly after 2 a.m. threatened to keep search teams off the rubble pile for an unknown period and dim hopes for finding anyone alive in the debris a week after the tower came down.

The rescue operations were called off on the same day that President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited the devastated community.

The collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South beachfront condominium killed at least 18 people and left 145 missing. Hundreds of search-and-rescue personnel have painstakingly searched the pancaked rubble for potential signs of life, but no one has been rescued since the first hours after the collapse.

The news will surely frustrate friends and family of the missing, who have already been complaining about the speed at which rescue efforts have been progressing.