Authorities announced that the search, rescue, and recovery operation at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building has come to an end. Firefighters and recovery teams departed the area on Friday (July 23) and were saluted during a procession around the building.
First responders recovered and identified the remains of 97 people who died in the collapse on June 24. Only one person remains unaccounted for.
The site will remain active as police and investigators try to determine exactly what caused the building to partially collapse.
There are also concerns that the remaining foundation and parking garage walls are unstable and could collapse, causing damage to utilities on the roads surrounding the building.
"We believe there is a potentially dangerous situation at the site, where the wall is in danger of collapse. It is essentially acting as a bathtub, which it was not designed to be. When the exterior ground becomes saturated with rainwater, the situation becomes more severe," engineer Alyin Kilsheimer explained, according to WPLG. "If the wall fails in the above situation, it would most probably behave in a blow-out mode for a substantial extent of the length, which would put people inside the open hole, as well as those walking or driving by the site when the roadways reopen (which we understand is imminent), at substantial risk."