Surfside Death Toll Rises To Four As Digging Continues

The Miami Herald reports:

The arduous and heartbreaking task of recovering the bodies of victims at the site of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo began overnight and continued into a somber Friday morning in Surfside.

Shortly before 7:45 Friday morning, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said authorities have now confirmed four deaths. No additional survivors had been found since Thursday morning.

Miami Beach Sen. Jason Pizzo was at the scene early Friday morning, where he watched as tactical teams of six worked to extricate bodies from the rubble. Some relatives of the victims, who had been there since Thursday morning, were awaiting results to DNA swabs that would help identify their loved ones.

The New York Times reports:

As emergency medical workers kept up their frenetic search for the missing in the flattened rubble in Surfside, Fla., on Friday, they relied on some lessons of past disasters and on the grim but increasingly sophisticated science of urban search and rescue.

Michael J. Fagel, an emergency planner, was a scene-safety and logistics officer after both the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He recalled not the noise of the piles, but the silence — the life-or-death importance of utter silence.

“We used stethoscopes. We used hearing devices,” Mr. Fagel, 68, said of the Oklahoma City disaster site. “We would actually stop the mission for five minutes. You’d have three blasts of an air horn. And you would listen. You hear a moan. You hear a whisper. You hear a breathing sound.”