Surfside rescuers step up search as storm closes in

·2 min read

Florida rescuers were battling strong winds during their search through the rubble of the collapsed Surfside condo as Tropical Storm Elsa neared the state overnight, after finding four more bodies at the site Monday.

What's happening: Maggie Castro, a firefighter and paramedic with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, said: "We know that with every day that goes by, it is harder to see a miracle happening," per AP.

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The big picture: The confirmed death toll stands at 28 with 117 people still unaccounted for from the June 24 partial collapse at Champlain Towers South.

  • The search was paused over the weekend so a controlled demolition using explosives could bring down the remains of the building north of Miami Beach.

  • President Biden has made an emergency declaration for Florida to assist with additional federal funding for debris removal and other measures.

Of note: The definitive cause of the collapse is still unknown, but the president of the building's condominium association warned three months before the disaster that damage highlighted in a 2018 engineer's report had "gotten significantly worse."

In photos: Scenes from the Surfside condo demolition

Debris from the demolition on July 4. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Smoke and dust linger after the pulling down of the remaining part of Champlain Towers South. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A man covers his face from dust after the demolition of the wreckage of the tower on July 4. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

A woman holding candles cries as she watches the rest of the Champlain South Tower being demolished on July 4. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

People cover their faces in a cloud of dust after watching the rest of the tower being demolished on July 4. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

People watch a cloud of dust after the remains of the have been demolished on July 4. Photo: Chandan KhannaAFP via Getty Images

First responders at the demolition scene on July 4. Photo: Chandan KhannaAFP via Getty Images

The remaining part of the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building falling on July 4. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The building falls on July 4. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The controlled demolition of the remaining part of the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building begins on July 4. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Go deeper: Remembering the victims of the Surfside condo collapse

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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