Florida condo collapse: Rescue workers thanked in touching ceremony after return to headquarters


Florida firefighters have concluded the month-long search for bodies in the wreckage of the Surfside condo collapse. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue remained on-site since the June 24 collapse, assisting efforts to search and rescue – and later, recover – the victims of the collapse. 

Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah said the fire department’s role in recovering remains at the collapsed Surfside building has finished as of Friday. They left the site in a convoy of fire engines and other vehicles and drove slowly to their headquarters.

Family members and officials welcomed the Florida Task Force-1 team back at headquarters, the final sign that their deployment was over. The rescue team worked tirelessly during that time. 

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The collapse killed at least 97 people, and at least one more person is believed missing in the disaster, yet to be identified. 

Police and forensic specialists remain on-site to identify the remains of victims recovered from the wreckage. The site stands otherwise empty, allowing engineers to also start examining the site and figure out what may have caused the collapse in the first place. 

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Allyn Kilsheimer, a structural engineer hired to help figure out why the building collapsed, warned officials that the site may still not be safe.

“We believe there is a potentially dangerous situation at the site, where the wall is in danger of collapse,” Kilsheimer wrote.

Miami-Dade County is bringing in crews to help shore up the remaining underground walls, Rachel Johnson, the county’s communications director, told the Miami Herald.

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“We are moving to procure a company to do shoring and bracing of the walls to assure there is no risk,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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