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Rescuers have detected a possible “banging” sound coming from the rubble of the partially collapsed 12-story oceanfront condo building near Miami.
The sound, picked up by sonar equipment, offers a glimmer of hope as responders dig through the mountain of debris where the building in Surfside, Fla., just north of Miami Beach, came crashing down around 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
“We did receive sounds — not necessarily people talking, but sounds — what sounds like people banging,” said Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah during an afternoon press briefing. “We haven’t heard any voices coming from the pile.”
Jadallah cautioned that the noise may simply be from debris shifting at the site, where at least one person died and at least 99 more are unaccounted for.
Working in shifts and wary of possible further collapse, first responders are meticulously sifting through the rubble in a race against time to reach any survivors who may be trapped.
In addition to sonar equipment, the rescue effort also includes “search cams” and dogs specially trained to detect people buried beneath the layers of rubble, officials said.
It remains unclear what caused the building, which dates to 1981, to partially give way.
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