The building collapse in Miami – – Just had to get us out

NEW YORK / OSLO (Dagbladet): – Sometimes the boundary between life and death is apparently as random as sea or street views.

This is what 42-year-old Albert Aguero says to the news agency AP.

While 124 people, mostly from the homes facing the coast, are still missing, many of those living in the apartment block in Surfside, Miami, also escaped the collapse alive.

Aguero and his family were among those who managed to escape. As the elevator had collapsed, he went down through the broken stairwell that had divided the block in two.

– Several of the neighbors met for the first time, while some had known each other for years. After this tragedy, we are all together forever, he says.

Stops rescue operation

On Saturday afternoon local time, the rescue operation in the collapsed building, Champlain Towers in Surfside, was stopped. The part of the building that still stands there will now be demolished.

Assistant fire chief in Miami-Dade County, Raide Jadallah, has informed relatives that the rescue work was stopped at 16 local time. Rescue work has been ongoing since the building collapsed on June 24. Now the demolition work is underway, reports AP.

This is partly because tropical storm Elsa is heading for the Florida coast in the next few days, and the authorities believe it is necessary to demolish the rest of the building to avoid putting exploration crews in even greater danger.

HOLIDAY: Albert Aguero and his family took a dramatic turn in their holiday when the building they lived in collapsed last week. Photo: Albert Aguero / AP / NTB
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On holiday

Aguero, who is originally from New Jersey, was on vacation with his family when the collapse occurred.

He himself thought that it was the lightning that had hit the building, while his son thought that it was a plane that had crashed, but there was no time to discuss, he says:

– There was no time to react at all. We just had to get out.

Helped older lady

For each floor the family got down the broken staircase, they shouted which floor they were on. Slowly but surely the family got down, before it suddenly said stop on the fifth floor. Then they heard a loud bang from someone knocking on a door.

Albert’s wife, Janette, tore open the door. Behind the door were two people, a younger and an older lady. They both joined the evacuation, but the old lady, who according to Albert is 88 years old, had problems with the pace.

TRAGIC: A tourist captured photos of the building in Miami just before it collapsed. Video: Private. Reporter: Julie Tran
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– Do not worry about me. I have had a good life, the woman is said to have said.

Albert did not agree.

– You’ll be fine. We’ll make sure you turn 89, he’s said.

Have lost everything

It has now been over a week since the building collapsed. The whole Aguero family and the two women survived. Now they and several families are now on bare ground.

Everything they own and have is gone, but the families are still happy.

– It has nothing to say, we live.

APPLICANT: A video released by the Miami Dade Fire Department shows the rescue crew working inside the building itself after the collapse. Video: Miami Dade Fire Department. Reporter: Maja Walberg Klev.
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On Saturday night, the news came that two more people had been found dead in the ruins of the apartment block. Thus, a total of 24 people have been confirmed dead.

The search for the 124 people who have not been accounted for is still ongoing.

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