- Saturday marked the third full day of search-and-rescue efforts after a condo building collapsed.
- Officials said only one new body was recovered, bringing the death toll to five.
- There are now 156 people still unaccounted for while rescue efforts continue.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The death toll from the Miami building collapse crept up to five on Saturday after rescuers recovered one more body from the rubble.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference there are now 156 people unaccounted for and 130 people accounted for.
The rescue efforts have been painstakingly slow – Saturday was the third day of search-and-rescue attempts since the 12-story Champlain Towers condominium building fell in a pancake collapse. After a full day of searching, the efforts yielded only one new body, some unidentified human remains, and no survivors, officials said.
A massive fire burning deep underneath the rubble also hindered Saturday’s rescue efforts at first, sending up flames and thick plumes of smoke.
Alan Cominsky, the chief of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, told reporters that evening the fire had been contained around 10:30 or 11 a.m. local time, and that rescuers were able to proceed with their efforts.
Rescuers have been searching the entire debris field section by section, sweeping the area with K9 units, sonar, and drones to pick up any trace of survivors.
“Our top priority continues to be search and rescue and saving any lives that we can,” Levine Cava said.
She said in the meantime, families of the people who remain unaccounted for have submitted DNA samples to help identify any other bodies found.
“The process of identifying these victims is going to be very difficult,” she warned.
The cause of the collapse is still unknown, but newly released documents from the town of Surfside showed that an engineering consultant in 2018 had warned of “major structural damage,” “abundant” cracking and fragmentation, and “concrete deterioration” within the building.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told reporters on Saturday that when the rescue efforts wrap up, officials will do “a very comprehensive deep-dive” into why the building collapsed.