Police: Surfside condo demolition to begin overnight

Miami-Dade officials said Sunday that the controlled demolition of the uncollapsed portion of the Surfside condo building will begin overnight as the area braces for the arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa.

“The demolition of Champlain Towers South will take place tonight between 10:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.,” Miami-Dade police said in a Twitter post. “We urge residents who live in the Shelter in Place Zone – between 86th St and 89th St and Abbott Ave and the shoreline – to stay indoors effective immediately.” 

The department added that dust from the implosion is unavoidable, and as a "precautionary measure, we recommend you close all windows, doors and air intakes."

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Miami-Dade police also shared the identity of the 24th victim to be recovered in the building collapse, 58-year-old David Epstein. Some 121 people are still missing more than a week after the June 24 collapse as rescue efforts pause to make way for the demolition.

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Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah spoke with the remaining occupants of the building about the demolition, saying that professionals were already drilling small holes for the explosives. 

“The demolition will likely start from the front of the building and the rubble is expected to fall onto Collins Avenue,” Jadallah said, according to The Miami Herald.

Elsa is expected to bring wind and rain to the area, but not make a direct hit.

Jadallah said rescue operations should resume within an hour of the demolition.