The remaining section of a partially collapsed apartment block near Miami has been demolished over safety fears as a tropical storm approaches Florida.
On Sunday, the town’s Mayor Charles Burkett said there was a danger that strong winds could bring down additional debris and endanger the lives of search crews.
He said demolition experts would be able to control how the structure fell, and that the explosion could “potentially open up a third of the pile [of rubble]” for emergency teams to access.
Explosive charges were used to bring down the last standing part of Champlain Towers South late on Sunday.
The existing rubble, meanwhile, was covered with a tarpaulin to protect it from any dust or debris caused by the collapse.
Part of the 12-storey block collapsed on 24 June where twenty-four people are known to have died and 121 are missing.
The remaining unstable structure, which contained no bodies, was demolished so search efforts could resume safely.
Efforts to scour the rubble for victims following the initial collapse were suspended ahead of the planned demolition.
They are expected to resume almost immediately.
No survivors have been pulled from the rubble at the site in Surfside since the first few hours after the structure’s collapse.
The demolition operation was brought forward after concerns were raised over the approaching Tropical Storm Elsa, which could reach Florida on Tuesday.