Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levin Cava said Wednesday evening that nearly a week after a condo building collided in Surfside, Florida, rescuers found the bodies of two young children, raising the death toll to 18. .
As the search continues for the 145 people who are untraceable, the fleeing residents are sharing heartwarming stories.
Raisa Rodriguez left a voicemail on her brother’s phone as he left the building. “Anyone over there? Hello?” he said. “Oh my god! What’s the matter? The whole building is gone!”
Ileana Montegudo said that a loud sound woke her up from her sleep. She started running after seeing a crack breaking through the wall of her living room. “I start going downhill fast and I hear a crack, crack, crack,” she said.
Her neighbor Sara Neer lived on the ground floor and went out after hearing a loud bang. Then he saw the underground garage of the building colliding.
“We ran out of the building,” she said. “And then another big boom. Then we didn’t see anything. After the big boom and with white clouds all around it suddenly calmed down.”
More than 200 rescuers are searching the mound of rubble. Overnight crews discovered new tunnels under the rubble where they.
“We believe the chances are slim,” said Colonel Elad Adri, who is with an Israeli team assisting in the search, of finding the people alive. “We don’t hide it from families. We believe we can have life and we hope to have it.”
President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden are due to visit the site on Thursday.