SURFSIDE, Fla. — Officials in a Florida town released body camera footage Tuesday from the first police officers who responded to the collapse of a condo building that left 98 people dead.
Officers in Surfside arrived just minutes after the east side of Champlain Tower South pancaked in the early morning hours of June 24.
Each video lasts about 18 minutes. Clouds of dust billow as the officers make their way past the massive wreckage. The officers can be seen calling for survivors and escorting residents away from the part of the building that was still standing.
Officials are still working to determine the cause of the collapse. Rescue workers spent about a month searching the site for remains. Debris was moved to a warehouse near Miami International Airport, where forensic specialist continue to investigate. It was the largest non-hurricane related emergency response in state history.
In the end, crews found no evidence that anyone who was found dead had survived the initial collapse, Fire Chief Alan Cominsky has said.
Search teams spent weeks battling the hazards of the rubble, including an unstable portion of the building that teetered above, a recurring fire and Florida’s stifling summer heat and thunderstorms. They went through more than 14,000 tons (13,000 metric tonnes) of broken concrete and rebar before finally declaring the mission complete.
The dead included members of the area’s large Orthodox Jewish community, the sister of Paraguay’s first lady, her family and their nanny, along with an entire family of four that included a local salesman, his wife and their two young daughters, 4 and 11, who were buried in the same coffin.