Search-and-rescue teams battling odds to find survivors after Surfside condo building collapse

'We have a lot of hope,' commissioner says as search continues
Surfside building collapse on June 25, 2021
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 23:26:51-04

SURFSIDE, Fla.  — Search-and-rescue teams in Surfside keep battling the odds, the weather, rain on and off all day and the strain after last week's partial condominium building collapse.

"Search as long as we can," Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz said of the effort. "We have a lot of hope. We're praying."

Every move made in the collapse zone must be thought out. Structural engineers constantly assess potential danger from the part of the Champlain Towers South condominium that still stands.

"At this time, it is not considered that the building is at risk of collapse, but it is unstable and so we are no longer entering the building," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

RELATED: Other survival stories motivate rescuers in Surfside

Federal partners will be sending another urban search-and-rescue team to supplement more than 200 local and state personnel already in South Florida. They want a backup in case weather systems in the Atlantic Ocean trigger a need for the Florida teams elsewhere in the coming week or so.

Kevin Guthrie is the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

"We have all the resources we need, but we are going to bring in another team to, if you will, to backfill those resources," he told reporters.

Time is always an enemy for would-be rescuers. They feel the clock ticking, but firefighters said they won't give up.

"This is just such a unified approach," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said. "These are the times that are the most difficult, you know, but we're here to do a job. We are here with a passion. This is what we do and, hopefully, we have some success."