The remaining structure left behind after the Miami building collapse has been brought down by demolition crews using explosives, after warnings that a tropical storm could render the site unsafe.
Rescue teams are expected to resume the search for survivors once the demolition is complete at the Champlain Towers South condo building. They have so far recovered the remains of 24 people, with 121 still missing.
No one has been pulled out of the rubble alive since the first hours after the 24 June collapse at Surfside in southern Florida.
The search and rescue mission was suspended on Saturday to allow engineers to prepare the site for demolition. The precarious remaining portion of the 12-storey building was rigged with strategically placed explosives that successfully brought down the structure on Sunday after 10.30pm.
Rescuers said they were now just awaiting clearance to resume the work of trying to locate any survivors still buried under the rubble.
“We are standing by. We are ready to go in, no matter the time of night,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Levine Cava told a news conference earlier on Sunday evening.
Rescuers believe that the detonation will give them access to some parts of the original collapse site for the first time, especially the garage area that is a focus of interest.
Miami-Dade Fire Chief Albert Cominsky said once a new path to enter the rubble is secured, “we will go back to the debris pile, and we’ll begin our search and rescue efforts”.