Searches will continue 24 hours a day until everyone is pulled out.

Search and rescue teams have recovered four additional bodies in the pile of rubble from a collapsed building in Surfside, Florida, following the demolition of the remaining building, according to officials.

First responders were able to search in areas previously inaccessible due to the instability of the portion of Champlain Towers South that still stood following the partial collapse on June 24, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters at a press conference Monday morning.

Three bodies were recovered in the morning and an additional body was found in the afternoon, according to officials.

The death toll now stands at 28, with 117 still unaccounted for, Levine Cava said. The newly accessible areas were likely where a lot of the master bedrooms were located, where people were sleeping, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters.


The demolition work has allowed search teams to operate at full capacity, according to Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett.

“The heavy equipment is now able to move around the site as needed. The looming threat of that building, the dangerous situation where debris could fall down is now eliminated,” he said at an evening news conference.

Burkett added that search operations will continue 24 hours a day until every body is recovered.

While the demolition was critical to expanding the search for bodies closer to the standing building, it was also necessary as Tropical Storm Elsa approached the U.S. with winds that “could have brought it down in a matter that could not have been as controlled or predicted,” the mayor said.

The demolition went “exactly as planned,” and the building fell away from the pile that collapsed, Levine Cava said.

“Only dust landed on the existing part,” she said.


Crews received the “all-clear” about an hour after the demolition started around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, and first responders resumed the search by 1 a.m.

Levine Cava emphasized that search and rescue crews “took every action we possibly could” to search for pets that remained in the building prior to the demolition. Multiple full sweeps of the building, which included searches in hiding places such as closets and under beds, were conducted “at great risk to first responders,” the mayor said.