Nearly a week after the collapse of a condo building in Surfside, Florida, rescuers found the bodies of two young children, bringing the death toll to 18. The children were ages 4 and 10, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Wednesday evening.
As the search continues for the 145 people who remain unaccounted for, residents who escaped the collapse are sharing chilling stories.
Raysa Rodriguez left a voicemail on her brother’s phone as she made her way out of the building. “Anybody over there? Hello?” she said. “Oh my God! What the hell? The whole entire building is gone!”
Iliana Monteagudo said a loud noise woke her from her sleep. She started to run after she saw a crack snaking down her living room wall. “I start going down fast and I hear a crack, crack, crack,” she said.
Her neighbor, Sara Nir, lived on the ground floor and went outside when she heard a loud bang. That’s when she saw the building’s underground garage collapse.
“We ran out of the building,” she said. “And then another big boom. Then we didn’t see anything. It was suddenly quiet after the big boom and with white clouds all over.”
More than 200 rescue workers are searching through the mound of rubble. Overnight crews discovered new tunnels beneath the rubble where they found four more bodies.
“We believe the chances are low,” Colonel Elad Edri, who is with an Israeli team assisting in the search, said of finding people alive. “We don’t hide it from the families. We do believe that we can find lives and we hope to get it.”
President Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden are scheduled to visit the site on Thursday.
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