The still-standing portion of the partially collapsed condo building in Miami, Florida, that has claimed 24 lives, with 121 people still unaccounted for, was brought down using explosives Sunday night, July 4.
The blast took place at 10 p.m. ET, 11 days after the shocking collapse of much of the residential Champlain Towers structure on June 24.
County Mayor, Daniella Levine Cava said the demolition of the remaining portion of the building was a necessary step for crews to continue their search for any possible survivors of the disaster.
“Bringing down this building in a controlled manner is critical to expanding the scope of our search-and-rescue effort,” Cava told reporters at a news conference, according to The Associated Press.
Search crews will resume sifting through the rubble after the demolition as soon as they receive an “all clear” signal from site managers, the mayor said.
Officials hope they could find more survivors even though the odds of finding anyone still alive after more than a week are not favorable.
Concerns had developed in recent days that the still-standing portion of the building was unsafe and could have endangered search crews as they worked at the site, hence the decision was made to explode the building.
Another factor that made the government hasten the building explosion was the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa, which was heading toward Florida after barreling through the Caribbean over the past several days .