Rest of Surfside condo building demolished as storm approaches

The remaining part of the Surfside, Fla., condo building that suffered a devastating collapse more than a week ago was demolished Sunday night as crews prepare for a tropical storm heading to the area.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. local time, authorities detonated charges that had been placed in holes in the still-standing part of Champlain Towers South, according to multiple reports.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah had recently spoken with tenants of the complex, saying that professionals were drilling the holes after search and rescue workers paused their efforts, and that the implosion would occur before 3 a.m. Monday.  

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"Dust is an unpreventable byproduct of all types of demolition," the Miami-Dade police warned on Twitter ahead of the implosion. "As a precautionary measure, we recommend you close all windows, doors and air intakes, cover any other openings that might allow dust to enter your apartment, house or building, and turn your A/C on re-circulate."

Police also drove through the neighboring streets in the minutes before detonation, according to The Miami Herald, urging residents to head inside.

Jadallah told the Herald that he expected the demolition would start at the top of the building, with the rubble falling onto Collins Avenue. 

Officials had been worried about the structurally unsound rest of the building being impacted by the upcoming Tropical Storm Elsa, which is set to bring winds and rain on Monday though not expected to strike Surfside directly.

The Miami-area apartment complex collapsed in the middle of the night on June 24, leaving at least 24 people dead and 121 still unaccounted for.

Officials had said that rescue efforts could resume as little as an hour after the demolition.