Surfside Mayor says they need more luck in Miami building collapse

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As residents of Surfside, Florida expressed angst and frustration at the pace of the search and rescue mission at the site of a fatal condominium collapse, the city’s mayor called the bad luck situation.

“We are not poor in resources,” said Mayor Charles W. Burkett of Surfside on Sunday morning. “We didn’t have a resource problem, we had a luck problem. We just have to start getting a little better luck now. “

Mr Burkett, speaking on ABC News “This Week”, said officials were focusing all of their attention on the search operations at the collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium.

“Buildings don’t collapse in America,” he said. “There was obviously something very, very wrong in this building, and we have to get to the bottom of it, but not today, not tomorrow and not for a long time, because our first priority and our only priority is to get our residents of this rubble.

Careful research entered its fourth day Sunday. Rescue teams from Mexico and Israel had arrived to help, Mr Burkett said, and a multitude of tools and methods were used to aid operations.

He also addressed concerns about the safety of a similar neighboring building, built by the same contractor. “We have to go in and figure out what’s going on with the sister building,” Mr. Burkett said. After conversations with Senator Rick Scott and the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, he said an investigation would be underway shortly and residents of the other building would be offered other housing options. Next week he said, “An army of engineers is going to come in there and search this building from top to bottom. “

He added: “I don’t know if I would be comfortable staying in this building until I’m sure they’ve done a full top-down study of what’s going on in the systems. this building.”

The multi-day search had been excruciating for people still waiting to hear from loved ones. But Mr. Burkett said things were moving forward. “I was there this morning and I walked around the site. I saw a substantial difference from my departure last night around 11 o’clock. We have waves of search and rescue teams flocking to the site, coming in and out.

He added that a fire deep in the rubble at the site, which had complicated rescue efforts, appeared to be extinguished.

To exasperated residents, Mr Burkett said, “We are working around the clock, nonstop, with nothing else in mind.” He added: “We will continue until everyone is out.”

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