Ohio Task Force 1 says search efforts becoming ‘more productive’ in Champlain Towers Collapse recovery efforts


A search and rescue team members dig through the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

MIAMI, Florida (WDTN) – A spokesperson for Ohio Task Force 1 said as recovery efforts continue in the Champlain Towers Collapse, the pace has become more productive over the last 48 hours.

Program Manager Evan Schumann stated, “It is an amazing thing to watch, the work effort on the pile. These talented and dedicated team members, not only from OHTF1 but from all the involved agencies, work tirelessly to bring closure for the victims and their families.”

While news of a tropical storm was thought to be of concern regarding search efforts, Schumann said it did not negatively impact the progress for crews.

“Elsa was not predicted to, and did not, directly impact Surfside on Tuesday,” he said. “However, there were occasional thunderstorms that did cause work on the pile to be stopped periodically. Otherwise, rain or no rain, the work went on.”

He said demolition of the remaining part of the building that was left standing following the collapse has made search efforts safer and has allowed recovery to crews to increase their pace of work.

Public information officer for OTF2, Phil Sinewe added, “While the progress has improved and quickened, this remains very challenging work. The mental strain alone is staggering for all of them. The team members constantly monitor each other and discuss this difficult task with each other to ease tensions all of them have.”

Sinewe said while deployments for OTF1 remain fluid and are always hard to predict, the team anticipates being on-site for at least the next seven days.

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