RESCUERS say hope has "dissipated" of saving those still buried in the rubble of the Miami building that collapsed with tragic results.
Dr. Howard Lieberman, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue trauma surgeon told CNN of the rescue mission: "We haven’t really heard anything in a while now, but that’s not to say that there’s still not people trapped that are alive."
As of today, four are confirmed dead and 159 people remain unaccounted for as rescuers comb the rubble for signs of tapping or survivors crying out.
Lieberman said as time passes, the trapped survivors may have become less vocal in their cries for help.
"As time’s running out they might be getting a little more sick or ill – not as vocal as before – but, like I said, we’re going to keep searching.
"I think these guys, you know, that’s their mindset also, they’re just going to keep going, keep going, keep going until, like I said, every stone is turned over and all the rubble is removed."
The rescue mission continues after it was revealed that the Surfside building official stood on the roof of the Champlain Towers to inspect roof anchor replacements just 14 hours before the disaster occurred, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Jim McGuinness, the building official, told a town emergency meeting that he saw nothing to suggest beforehand that the building would fall.
"There was no inordinate amount of equipment or materials or anything on that roof that caught my building official’s eye that would make it alarming as to this place collapsing."
McGuinness also confirmed that the building had undergone an inspection every 40 years, as required by Miami-Dade law.
"I have two words for the cause of this: under investigation," he added.
In the same meeting, the town commission said it would inspect other buildings in the area in its search for the cause of the devastating event, including the sister tower to the one that collapsed.
Mayor Charles Burkett agreed: "It would be imprudent not to take some types of steps to address that issue with the sister building."
Addressing the concerns expressed by other residents that their own buildings are not safe, Mayor Burkett insisted that the chances of another collapse are as small as "lightning striking."
"But given we have no idea what caused this collapse — and listen, the chances of that happening again are like lightning striking — but I don’t know that there’s anybody in this room that would be willing to roll the dice with all those lives and say, let’s not worry about it for a while."
The building "pancaked" on Thursday at around 1:30 am, launching a desperate rescue mission to uncover the more than a hundred survivors and three bodies trapped under the rubble.
It’s not known what caused the accident but it was reported that a study determined the building to be unstable, according to USA Today.
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