Step by step, photos of the horrific demolition of the Champlain complex in Miami

The demolition began at 10:30 p.m. Miami local time

A controlled explosion demolished the precarious remains of a collapsed apartment building in Miami Sunday night ahead of the imminent arrival of a tropical storm. Within seconds, the remaining 12-story South Champlain towers on Surfside were demolished.

Experts used strategically placed small explosions, using a technique known as “active demolition” that also relies on the force of gravity to demolish the building. The action caused the building to explode in place, collapsing in its immediate surroundings.

Since the hours after the collapse, no one has been found alive. As of Sunday night, 24 people are confirmed dead and 121 are missing. But if the effort does not hamper, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said Elsa may finally be a “blessing in disguise,” speeding up the building’s demolition and making way for larger teams of lifeguards. It can scan nearly a third of the previously inaccessible site, He said. “This demolition will open the whole area wide,” said Burkett, who is still hoping to find survivors.

Here is a sequence of photos of the horrific demolition:

The Miami authorities, with the impending arrival of Storm Elsa, decided to speed up the demolition
The Miami authorities, with the impending arrival of Storm Elsa, decided to speed up the demolition
They carefully placed the explosives in strategic locations so that the tower would fall on itself
They carefully placed the explosives in strategic locations so that the tower would fall on itself
The building started leaning to the left in milliseconds
The building started leaning to the left in milliseconds
Until dust took center stage
Until dust took center stage
The goal is that rescuers can work in the area, and the danger of uncontrolled collapse made the tasks very difficult
The goal is that rescuers can work in the area, and the danger of uncontrolled collapse made the tasks very difficult
Authorities believe the demolition will allow rescuers to reach a wider swath of the wreckage.
Authorities believe the demolition will allow rescuers to reach a wider swath of the wreckage.
Hours before the operation began, residents of the area were informed.  It is recommended to close all windows and seal the air conditioners to protect them from dust
Hours before the operation began, residents of the area were informed. It is recommended to close all windows and seal the air conditioners to protect them from dust
For a few moments there was nothing but dust
For a few moments there was nothing but dust
Finally the tower turned into ruins
Finally the tower turned into ruins
The general view of the fully modified area after the collapse
General view of the fully modified area after the collapse

Videos:

Telemundo’s video shows the collapse at a short distance
These pictures show the process from another place, behind one of the security ropes

Photos: Reuters

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