Number of missing in Miami building collapse rises to 159

President Biden has activated FEMA to help with search and rescue efforts.
22:19 | 06/25/21

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Transcript for Number of missing in Miami building collapse rises to 159
This is an ABC news special report. Good morning everybody we're calling on the air here live from the scene of that devastation here in Surfside. Florida the scene behind me were the work continues to dig through that rubble for possible survivors after. That of course twelve story building collapses we are waiting to get an update the president come in the supposes start. Here shortly we're expecting that to get under way but the update we did get so far this morning was that the death till it's gone up to at least four. Four people confirmed dead in this building collapsed partial building the last big renters and residential building and 99 unaccounted for we do want to turn now to the mayor and listening for the. Period and twenty people now accounted for which is theory very good news. But are unaccounted for number has gone up to 159. In addition. We can tragically reported the death count is now. Four. I want to be very clear about the numbers. They're very fluid. Will continue to update you as as we have them. But we have confirmed four deaths. The search and rescue team worked throughout the night. And it was a very active scene from above and below. And we also brought heavy machinery onto the site. To assist with the operation and so we are theory very grateful that our president has now authorized. FEMA support and we're joined here today by our senior represented if you can tell you more. And and that is going to assist us in our recovery efforts as well to assist the families. We have the resources for the families at the family reunification center. We've been actively. Providing them everything that they need. Food shelter. I cash to assist with the that their basic needs and grief counseling. Obviously a very critical component as we move forward as people are anxiously waiting. For news of their loved ones. At this time we have received. All the donations of goods. And have volunteers that we can handle at this time. We are very very grateful for every one who has contributed and we will let people know as the lead at presents. But we do have to find at sites available for cash donations. Support search site dot org and have said. CH. ES EDJ. Sites that are receiving donations. So as we worked tirelessly. And stand united. Local. Municipal county's state and now federal support. We are going to work as hard as we can to continue. Our search and rescue effort that is our priority that is where we're focused. And protecting. Our first responders who are on the scene. So thank you everyone got less. The hour back in the front yard whether they Cedar Key C this up for development expenditure. We PC. Are we just got a significant off days. From the mayor there. About the efforts here harm that update is that's the number we got yesterday of 99 unaccounted for has not gone off to a hundred. And 59 that are not counted on accounted for a 159. People. They believe were in that building right now they have not been able to get in contact with the nick got to keep it as some kind of contacted doesn't necessarily. Meaning they'll 159 or somewhere still in that building under that rubble needing to be. Rescued or worse. What is just that the 159 folks that families can't get a hold up right now so they're trying to attract those folks down we still do know that a hundred plus have been located. But also the death soul has gone up to four. Ford dead at this point and also. They did confirm an hour before they did pull from the rubble as well that have been rescued so that is a very significant update to work here continues our Victor can go. Who has been reported here from the essentially the moments the moments after this I'll collapse did take place you sit on the scene here with me as well and then Victor. That is significant jump in the on account at a 159 now. They're future that is absolutely devastating update I just had a chance to speak with Florida State fire Marshall that he did explain though that they wouldn't be bringing in all of these additional resources if there wasn't still hope. A finding some survivors alive. Somehow trapped underneath all that rubble but here just some of the obstacles that they're facing number one be structural integrity of the building he could still come down at any moment here entirely. And if not there's still some debris that could fall off any weight but pity that to the structure right now and that rubble. Really dangerous as these rescue crews worked diligently. Underneath all of that. There's also the rain that it's been on enough you can think of that as like another fire hose adding water weight to it. And on top of that. Fires have been sparking on and off here so that had put those fires out adding even more weight to the building here. Yet still you have these men and women who have been working through the night if tunnel in underneath governing in through the basement here this is dangerous. But delicate work they have to work in shifts sometimes just fifteen minutes at a time. We also asked him about the reports that these rescuers had heard some kind of knocking he explained that all that might be some positive news. There are still a lot of just other noise here you got helicopters in the air there's fire trucks all over the scene here so they have to really hone in and focus of the continued working for. About did you rescue operations continue throughout the night victims are so called back it looks at a press conference that was the numbers from Florida costs force one. Go the message. Are great mayor. We are pulling additional low resources from FEMA to assist to provide relief for some of those individuals. This is coupled with the firefighters already on scene bring in the total local 130. Firefighters through this operation. As you saw that that we did. The fire reignite but it did not slow down our search and rescue operations. However during our search and rescue operations. We did encounter three. Victims that were deceased. They were removed and that's she had mentioned we bring the total to four. Fatalities. Again search and rescue operations still continue we have heavy machinery on scene. To start pulling some of superficial metal from above as we start looking for additional awards from above. Again search and rescue still continues from below as we tunnel. Utilizing. Heavy light missionary. Thank you Detroit Spanish we're gonna have public information officer given it is for Miami fire. When those BS bullying with Russell but as soon as it was gains. As we continue to get the updates from the officials about the on this building collapse against some 24 plus hours now after this building collapsed again the first reports are coming in about 1130 in the morning that was overnight yesterday that daylight gave us a real sense of the devastation and the scene is just. Really unimaginable to seat what the building was before and to see what it is now in the work that continues now and the update we got just a short time ago this is an important one. That they are looking through that rubble and this work is slow its methodical it's dangerous. Com flight 559. People analysis on accounted for that the update we just got a short time ago so that. Is what they're. That it that is the motivation that is what they're doing direct -- or are they pulled pork from the rubble already so now there's a hope that they could pull out more so let me go back now. Pursue this on the officer the president opportunity to get the update from New Zealand. As currently right now says it was stated. We have four victims I lost their lives are homicide detectives are working with the medical Examiner's office right now. To identify those victims and we had victim advocates as well that. Next sixty notification will be made. Concerns at the scene here we're here is supporting fire rescue what their search and rescue. Seen security is Paramount is heavy equipment is arriving and we're gonna have a very restrict fast access to this area. Go to Spanish really quick. They don't motorists on the book we do not. A big deal what a bizarre dank place sealed most of the day games under our Condo but I think DC got Little League team might be coming irate he said media. Dumb column on didn't know and I did it take double gate scandal he'd people game we've played this old. Policy he thought we are you on though game virus bass. They can nurture we're gonna have Kevin Guthrie. He rivers at the Florida division of emergency management. Morning everyone dug up there director of the Florida division merged management. Overnight we had a mutually requests he'll win that is being handled by the state fire marshal's office. Four additional. Urban search and rescue teams. You know that Florida task force two which is out of the city in my Amy. As a going to be the first to help rotate in two help Miami Dade fire rescue here at the site. We have put the additional. Search rescue teams throughout the state. There's a total of eight teams throughout the state so that's an additional six teams have been put on standby to rotate in. As needed at the request Miami date fire rescue. So that has happened at 12:26 this morning you heard the mayor referred to it at 12:26 AM this morning. I received the emergency declaration. From FEMA and that has happened that is going to you eternal and what is referred to as category hey debris removal category B emergency protective measures. And individual assistance for Jean Marie and her FEMA reimbursement we will be providing throughout the day additional. On the of the individual assistance piece but I think that we should set the expectation now that that will be limited to. Dresses that had 8777. Collins road. So please just though that that is coming as I said FEMA is on the way the first individual came in about 3 AM this morning. That is our state regional coordinator Paul Williams he's going to be followed by about fifteen additional personnel from FEMA throughout the day. And then we also have additional staff for the Florida this person injured coming in throughout the day as well today. The be remiss if I didn't say the entire team. That works in Tallahassee is activated the men and women there are ready to support has needed. And again you know we've always said of these disasters team at helps federally support. A disaster the state helps manage the disaster but everything is located executed at local levels so again. Federally supported state managed locally execute and that's what we are we are teaming up here. With the Miami Dade County to make sure that that happens thank you very much. I think it's appropriate and next bigger we're gonna have mr. Ryan Logan given important information regarding the Red Cross. Good morning I'm I'm Ryan Logan I'm the reason disaster officer for the American Red Cross here in South Florida. And we like these other organizations were on scene and there are hours yesterday morning beginning to provide whatever support we could to those that have been displaced. Yesterday morning we worked with both the city of surf side as well as Miami Dade County. Civilians poured the opening in the operation. The reception center and the family reunification center. And as well as we have mobilize additional resources. And supplies. And most import only some of our. Trained health mental health and spiritual care workers. Are coming in here locally but we're also bringing in. Trained experts that really dealt what this type of situation. From across the country because you're really want to make sure that we're we're. Truly providing the necessary support. For not only just those that have been directly under directly impacted but the community at large. We also have been working with the families that have been displaced to try to secure. Temporary lodging for them. And and we pick on the case were processed early start can this thing develops just some of the basic next steps that they may need to take. And even forward. On the in addition to that we know that everybody really wants to help during these times. And that's what makes us the country that we are. The for the Red Cross we would just say that we have met with the necessary supplies then. Financial assistance that we need. To support these organizations. Absolutist encouraged that anybody wanted to make any other donation way referenced at. To the groups that the mayor reference Ted divine all their resources there. And then. Most importantly I think it's important that folks know that what does this difficult time for everybody whether you're here locally or you're seeing these images 3000 miles away. So one of the things that we really encourage folks is really take time for yourself. Tom go to our website Red Cross out of work we've got a ton of information there just on how folks can. Really helped set mean as their home hoping what this. As well as his had to have the conversations with children that may be seeing these images asking a lot of questions. And we also will be bringing that same mobile of community support here. So we can actually also focus on the beach resilience as we move forward thanks. We're gonna break into the questions and answer session and I ask you to please raise your hand what's your call the mom and then just instructed. Identify who it is that the question is referred to and then we'll move one at a time would try to get to everyone as much as possible. First thing. Grade BS this is still a search and rescue operation. To believe there are still people live there. We will continue search and rescue. Because we still have hope that we will find people alive that is exactly why we're continuing. And that that is why we're using nerd god sinners sonar and our cameras everything possible. To seek places where there may still be people. What kind of first. He had no I can't connect confirm that there are actively involved in search and rescue from both below and from a just thirteen. You know. Thought about that. Months. So throughout the the night no different then from when we began operations. So as the heavy machinery comes then we will begin removing some of the debris from above some of the light debris. Com has replaced those tech those devices to look for voice weak start looking for additional victims. We are looking for over we are listening for sounds it's not specifically you know human sounds it could be. You know tapping it to be steel. You know kind of twisting it could be some of the debris kind of raining down so we concentrated in those areas. From below we continue with using. Like machinery. Saws. Jack cameras as we see continued to tunnel through. Hundreds. It's not necessarily topping its just sounds and what what I reference to sounds of the B various things that could be just. Steel twisting it to be. Debris raining down but not specifically sounds of tapping the wars sounds of a human Boris. There are a lot of little more. Yanks win. He made you can't help but we're not now. Every morning. OK. Well. Why not. We as the mayor adds that we have hope and a day every time that we hear sound. We concentrate in that area so we send additional teams utilizing the devices. Utilizing canine utilizing personnel so as we continue to hear those sounds we concentrate in those areas. And now yeah. Throughout the night every night or difficult right now there. Currently as we as we continue through the operations. As we hear the various sounds we thought we deploy those. Devices including personnel and we start concentrating on those areas west of. New York Times. They're all. So we couple that information with the information that we receive from the reunification center so we utilize that number. So as I've stated yesterday the entire building the portion that still standing what's cleared rescue crews. So at this point now all that all resources have been shifted to the health of the rubble including from above and from below. And the generally associated press and were not for the. National TV report last night because make contact with somebody with a cell phone in the right. That's about it that's Jennifer so we'll just talk about the bravery we talk about the bravery of your firefighters who. We're going either not knowing attacked local kids if they're being the collapse. This is the risk that we had tickets the risk vs benefit every time we have that believe that there is hope you know what personal letter of traffic we do risk our lives and it's you know I. So it's it's incredibly moving to the on site Wendy's. The safety of personnel fire rescue they are totally totally motivated to find people days. They have to be pulled off this shift that is how motivated they are to continue its. It's. A best is when the breakdown of the national. No groaning sounds. I mean when was the last time some. Longtime friend and someone. Before I just want to make another points. To this gentleman. This work is being done at extreme risk to these individuals. Debris is falling on them as they do their work. We have structural engineers on site. To ensure that they will not be injured but days. The are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk. Thomas everything out and yeah. Security that is from behind me. Get a sickly kids bills. We have gotten a number of significant updates from officials here. About this twelve story partial building collapse here in Surfside that has now. Confirmed to have killed for another 159. Are still unaccounted for but still a 120 are accounted for that they were able we'll. Of the building part of it that had not collapsed they had confirmed as well that four people were pulled from the rubble the work here does continue. Why has the mayor Miami Dade County just said because we have told. Because we have full. That we are going to find people alive in that rubble that is why the work continues here. Hour upon hour and overnight are Victor can go we've been here. On the scene from the very beginning Victor the most important thing right now is trying to save lives here. There are a lot of questions being passed and we'll continue to be asked. Up about this building what do we know because the experts we talked to. This is a relatively young building. Hearing good a robber has. Could have possibly happened or team also spoke with the professor at Florida International University who actually study. This exact building in the 1990s and he was shocked at what he found back then that the building was basically slowly sinking. Think to be heard. And if what he believes is that whatever caused it to collapse didn't start this year but many years ago featured. Those questions important ones to. He answered but right now the significance the most significant thing is to try to. Save lives that work will continue around the clock you can see and hear continued behind me right now here in Surfside with the update we've gotten from officials a 159. Still unaccounted for. And confirmed for had been killed in this deadly. Twelfth Storey apartment building collapsed here in Florida and TJ Holmes to the return you now your regular programming for some of you that will be. CNN. This has been a special report. From ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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