Search-and-rescue operations stretched into a sixth day on Tuesday at the site of an oceanside Florida condominium complex that partially collapsed, with 149 people still missing.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters on Tuesday evening that another body had been recovered, bringing the death toll to 12.
"Since our last briefing, very unfortunately, one additional victim was recovered. So the number of deceased is now at 12."
But the Mayor of the town of Surfside, Charles Burkett said he isn’t giving up hope.
“There were several different instances, but the most notable was the one from May 2013 where a woman was pulled from the ruins of a factory in Bangladesh seventeen days after it collapsed. So, I think as the governor said earlier, and the lieutenant governor, nobody’s giving up hope here, nobody’s stopping, the work goes on full force. We’re dedicated to get everyone out of that pile of rubble and reunite them with their families.”
What caused a major section of the 40-year-old high-rise to crumble into a heap remains under investigation.
In April of this year, the condo association president warned residents that concrete damage had "gotten significantly worse" along with roof damage, and urged them to pay some $15 million in assessments needed to make repairs, media reported.
Despite rain showers complicating efforts, emergency teams were still treating the round-the-clock operation - which has employed dog teams, cranes and infrared scanners - as a search-and-rescue effort.
But no one has been extricated alive from the ruins since a few hours after one side of the high-rise abruptly caved in on itself early Thursday morning as residents slept.
One Israeli expert sent in to help rescuers find pockets of air, says it's emotionally taxing "Sometimes we cry. It’s natural."
There are still reasons for hope... Fire officials have spoken of detecting faint sounds in rubble pile and finding voids deep in the debris large enough to possibly sustain life.