SURFSIDE, FL - Concerns over safety temporarily halted the rescue work at the scene of the condominium collapse in Surfside on Thursday, according to NBC Miami.
This is an update to a previous story.
Miami-Dade County officials said the efforts stopped at about 2 a.m. after crews noticed cracks and movement in a large column that could affect the overall stability of the structure.
It was not clear how long the search-and-rescue teams would have to delay their work of going through the rubble to try to find any survivors at the 12-story Champlain Towers South building.
"We're doing everything we can to ensure that the safety of our first responders is paramount and continue our search and rescue operation as soon as it is safe to do so," said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said officials will consult with experts and engineers to deal with the structural concerns and determine how the rescue work would proceed.
The death toll from the collapse remained at 18 with 145 people still missing as President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited the area on Thursday to thank the rescue workers and comfort relatives of the victims.
"This is life and death,” Biden said. “We can do it, just the simple act of everyone doing what needs to be done, makes a difference.” He added he was hoping the federal government could pick up the full cost of the rescue and cleanup efforts.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis thanked Biden for the support of the federal government after the disaster.
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