Rescue crews are no longer looking for survivors in the rubble of the collapsed Champlain Towers South apartment building in Florida.
Crews have been searching through the rubble for almost 2 weeks, but yesterday, officials announced they are ending their search and rescue operation.
Currently, fifty-four bodies have been found but officials now say there are no signs that there are any other survivors. The only survivors who were rescued were in the first hours after the building fell.
Crews will now shift their recovery efforts in the hope of finding the bodies of the eighty-six people who are still unaccounted for.
According to BuzzFeed, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters: "At this point, we have truly exhausted every option available to us in the search and rescue mission."
Over the past 2 weeks, the search saw crews using sonar, cameras, dogs, and heavy machinery in their search to find people. All while battling the fire, smoke, and torrential rain.
At the beginning of the search, hopeful signs of banging under the steel and concrete debris had been detected.
But now, fire officials said they have no longer heard any sounds or indications that there are still survivors in the wreck.
Our Miami Firefighters who are part of the @floridataskforce2_usar team along with other members from different municipalities in South Florida have been supporting @miamidadefirerescue within 24 hours of the collapse. pic.twitter.com/pb5BjZvElI
— Miami Fire Rescue (@CityofMiamiFire) July 1, 2021
During a news conference yesterday, Levine Cava described the heartbreaking task that rescue workers faced.
"Our commitment to this mission is deeply personal. This is our community, our neighbors, our families. And our first responders have truly searched that pile every single day since the collapse as if they're searching for their own loved ones," she said.
Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief, Raide Jadallah said the viability of finding survivors is slim in part because of the building's "pancake collapse," BuzzFeed News reports.
Floors and walls of the building fell onto one another leaving little space for people to survive, Jadallah explained.
"Typically an individual has a specific amount of time in regards to lack of food and air, and this collapse, you know, doesn't provide any of that sort."
As per Metro, Jadallah said: "Our sole responsibility at this point is to bring closure. We noticed the stress, the force of the pressure of the walls and the floors just pretty much again sustained no chance of life."
The transition from rescue to recovery efforts happened at midnight, with a moment of silence being held just after 7 pm.
Crews are expected to remain on the site for weeks with the hope of finding everyone missing.
Rest in Peace to all of those who tragically lost their lives in this terrible accident.