SURFSIDE, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — First responders continued to search in the rain Friday evening for dozens of people still missing after the devastating partial condo building collapse in Surfside, Florida.
Pablo Rodriguez is one of the many people who are still desperately awaiting word on loved ones. His mother and grandmother were in the building at the time of the collapse and remain missing.
“It’s still very difficult. It comes in waves, at times it’s just disbelief that this happened and then overwhelming grief and devastation,” said Rodriguez. “Yesterday was the first day that I haven’t talked to my mother in a very long time.”
Rescue teams are using sonar devices to listen for signs of movement in the rubble, but Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah at a news conference said they do not hear voices and that more than 130 firefighters were working at the site.
“We are praying for a miracle, but minute-by-minute the little bit of hope that we do have is gone,” Rodriguez said. “My mom’s unit was in the first tower that collapsed and the other building fell on top of it.”
Rodriguez also expressed his gratitude towards the first responders who are working 12-hour shifts on search and rescue.
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“I know they’re working tirelessly and everyone that’s down there is working tirelessly and doing the best they can with such a crazy situation,” he said.
On Friday, volunteers were on the scene to collect DNA swabs in an effort to find family members of those still trapped.
Rodriguez said he hopes an investigation into the cause of the collapse happens soon.
“Buildings don’t just fall down, especially here in the U.S. They’re not meant to just fall down,” he said. “So this building that was being inspected, was being remodeled, had assessments, had a board that was in charge of management, had the city that was checking the building. If the building was in such a condition that it collapsed, somebody had to have seen something. It doesn’t just fall down from one day to the other.”