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Surfside Condo Collapse Rubble Nearly Cleared, 22 Million Pounds Of Debris Removed

MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) - New images of the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse site show just how much progress has been made in clearing the mountain of debris and rubble.

More than 22 million pounds of debris have been cleared from the site.

State Senator Jason Pizzo posted the images on Twitter which show the site is nearly cleared.

Thursday will mark the fourth week since the building partially collapsed.

The death toll stands at 97. Of those, 95 victims have been identified. Officials promised families that the search would not end until every loved one was recovered.

Surfside condo collapse site nearly cleared. (Source: Twitter/ Jason Pizzo)

Once the search has officially ended, an investigation into what caused the collapse can fully begin, experts said.

"Until they do their job, we can't go in to do samples of materials and take those samples and test them to understand what the various components of the building that came down was," structural engineer Allyn Kilsheimer told CNN.

The first night that he was on the scene, Kilsheimer, who also investigated the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, said he had about 20 or 30 theories of possible triggers.

Since then, he eliminated some but added five or six more, he said, but won't be able to narrow it down while the search continues.

Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has acknowledged "multiple requests by engineers and attorneys" to gain access to the site.

"Engineers from the federal agency National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) were deployed to Surfside with Congressional authority to gather evidence and determine how and why the Champlain South Tower collapsed. NIST is the fact-finding agency responsible for investigating building collapses such as the World Trade Center, much like the NTSB investigates plane crashes," Rundle said in a statement.

"It is my understanding that once NIST, the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, and Miami-Dade Police Departments determine that it is safe and appropriate for others to gain access to the site, they will be permitted to do so under guidelines set forth by those agencies," Rundle said.

Surfside is working with their Bal Harbour neighbors to hold a memorial concert this Sunday, July 25 at the 96th Street beach.

Bal Harbour is contributing to the concert through the South Florida Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra is providing additional musicians, a cantor, and a singer for the occasion.

The concert will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited.

The names of the victims will be read at the end with a live butterfly release to follow.

(©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)


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