On Friday, tolls had risen to 79 after the recovery of another victim, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a news conference.
Fifty-three of the 79 victims have been identified and 61 people are potentially without account, she said.
Patronis said the crews place the same emphasis on the importance of the work.
“One thing I can assure you is that the dogs are still in place. The infrared equipment is still in use. The cameras are still in use. The bag strengths that are here … are the same level of skills that were here with FEMA task force, “he said.” They all work. What’s happening right now is no different than it was five days ago. “
In an interview with CNN, Chief Nichole Notte of Florida Task Force 2 said there has been an emotional toll for all workers.
“I feel like I’m physically digging, but I’m also digging emotionally for more strength to keep going,” she said.
Focus on the investigation
Meanwhile, officials have turned more attention to the investigation and to ensure that other structures in the area are safe.
Experts have already begun their investigation by examining Champlain Towers North, a sister building that “is essentially the same as the building that came down,”
“We have been there several times now. We have taken samples out. We have made the ground penetrating radar. We are trying to determine the amount of steel, the thickness of the plates, so we are trying to compile all this information and see exactly whether is an indication of weakness, ”Burkett told CNN on Friday.
“I spoke to the engineer today and he is ready to make a decision as soon as he gets the results back and let the occupants of the building know if he feels they are safe or not.”
The North Tower building was evacuated for safety reasons.
Burkett said he encouraged other condo board members in the area to inspect their structure.
“We have given them a number of boxes to check to make sure their buildings are as safe as they can be, as we especially do not know why this building collapsed,” Burkett said.
Patronis said he thinks it is important for investigators to compare the North and South Battle Tower towers.
“I have advised them to draw the minutes from the Champlain Towers North board over the last 40 years and compare with the minutes from the South and see if both boards have made the same investments over the last 40 years.”
More structural concerns elsewhere
Meanwhile, employees of a local government building have been advised to work from home for safety reasons.
All staff at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse were instructed to immediately begin work from home protocol Friday after security issues were revealed in an engineer’s report on the building, according to a statement from local officials.
The report found that security issues with different floors and recommended floors 16 and above were closed to staff while repairs are completed, Levine Cava, Circuit Court Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie and clerk Harvey Ruvin said in a joint statement.
“Following this report, we will take all necessary precautions and direct all Courthouse staff at 73 W Flagler Street to work from home immediately while repairs can be completed,” Miami-Dade officials said in the statement. “Over the past year throughout the pandemic, all Courthouse staff were already working remotely and recently returned to the building, and we are moving quickly to reactivate our teleworking plan.”
How the engineer examines the building
Allyn Kilsheimer, a civil engineer hired by the town of Surfside to investigate the collapse, took CNN on a tour of Champlain Tours North on Friday.
Kilsheimer said his team has been at the North Tower for two days using ground-penetrating radar to check the thickness of the concrete and collect samples.
Kilsheimer said he has not seen anything related to him.
“What I’m looking for is something that will warn me … about getting people out of the building,” he said. “I have not seen anything like it at this time.”
Other buildings in the area will soon receive letters from the mayor advising them to take the necessary steps to reassure residents that their buildings are safe, according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN.
Regardless of the age of the building, the city recommends hiring an engineer to review structural drawings and review basements as well as a geotechnical engineer to examine the foundation.
“The recommendations come with an abundance of caution based on the current status of the study,” the letter said. “They are intended to serve as a temporary method of giving residents some peace of mind until the forensic examination progresses.”
CNN’s Deanna Hackney, Raja Razek, Gregory Lemos, Amanda Watts and Rosa Flores contributed to this report.