There are nearly 160 people still unaccounted for following the collapse of an oceanside condo near Miami, Florida, with at least four dead.
As first responders continue combing through the piles of concrete and metal in Surfside, it’s possible the death toll could increase, according to the Associated Press.
Search teams are using dogs and microphones to work through the debris in hopes of hearing calls for help that could lead to rescues.
“Every time we hear a sound, we concentrate on those areas, said Assistant Miami-Dade Fire Chief Raide Jadallah.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava noted rescuers are putting themselves at “extreme risk” by continuing to work through the rubble of the 12-story Champlain Towers South.
“Debris is falling on them as they do their work,” she said. “We have structural engineers on site to ensure that they will not be injured, but they are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk on the site every day.”
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon, hours after the condo collapse at around 2 a.m.
At the time, more than 80 rescue units in Miami-Dade responded to the catastrophe.
The city has since launched a fundraising website to assist with the expenses associated with the rescue effort.
“The TV doesn’t do it justice,” DeSantis said of the collapse. “I mean, it is really, really traumatic to see the collapse of a massive structure like that.”
According to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), roughly one-third of those reported missing following the collapse are foreign citizens, with a “substantial number” of residents coming from overseas.
The senator said the state is “working with the consulates of various countries in the Western Hemisphere to help secure travel visas for family members who need to travel to the U.S.”