Md., Va. send engineers from elite rescue squads to Florida condo collapse

Members of Maryland and Virginia’s elite emergency rescue squads have been dispatched to help with urban search and rescue procedures at the scene of the collapsed condo building in Miami-Dade County, Florida. 

Two engineers from Maryland Task Force-1 and one from Virginia Task Force-1 were sent to assist with the efforts to rescue victims from the scene of the Champlain Towers South condo building, which collapsed on June 24. So far, 24 people are confirmed to have died in the incident, with over 100 still reported missing.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said the engineers from Maryland’s task force would be working with other structural specialists to offer their experiences with collapsed buildings to help rescue workers safely carry out their urban search and rescue operation.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Jeff Lewis said an engineer from Virginia’s task force was sent in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency “as a supplement to on-site technical capacity.”

Approaching Tropical Storm Elsa added urgency to rescue efforts, with forecasts suggesting strong winds could enter the area by Monday. The latest forecasts have shifted the projected storm path westward, but the Surfside area could still face rain and wind.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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