Watch CBS News

Condo Collapse: Some Family Members Feeling Frustrated With Search, Rescue Efforts

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - With three family members still missing in a mountain of rubble, Mike Silber is growing more frustrated by the minute with the search and rescue effort and he is not the only one feeling that way.

"The body count is just going up, let other people in," said Silber who has three family members missing.

"We need all the help we can get. It's the difference between life and death, including my husband if he's still alive," said Soraya Cohen, whose husband, and brother-in-law are missing.

Soraya's husband Brad, and his brother Gary remain missing.

Meanwhile, Gary Silber and his friends offered to help dig out but were turned away and threatened with arrest.

Silber told CBS4 he took pictures of a giant claw removing rubble and other earthmovers, all while standing near the site of the collapse, discouraged by what he watched.

"I was told by the fire chief it was too dangerous."

Miami Dade Fire & Rescue's Maggie Castro, who spoke to CBS4 by phone said she understands the growing frustration, but underscored the difficulty of this sort of Herculean effort.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said local agencies and FEMA, which just arrived on the scene, are doing everything in their power.

"We're not going to spare any expense. I think all governmental entities are united in this effort. The city, the county, the state, and the federal government and all resources that are at our disposal are going to be utilized to try and rescue as many people as possible," said Suarez.

But understandably, families still want more, and in many cases for a higher purpose.

"The Jewish burial tradition is so important, it is like proper respect for the dead, and the soul of the Jewish person can not rise up to heaven and have any peace until it is properly buried," said Cohen.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.