Surfside tower collapse: ‘Zero’ hope of finding survivors

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Rescue teams combing the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in Florida are switching from a search-and-rescue mission to a recovery effort.

The decision comes about two weeks after the 12-storey Champlain Towers South fell in the middle of the night.

Forty-six victims have been found and 94 are still missing, Surfside city officials said earlier on Wednesday.

No survivors have been found since the initial collapse, and rescue crews say many victims were found in their beds.

News that the rescue mission was ending came during a private meeting on Wednesday between families of the missing and Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah.

"Just based on the facts, there's zero chance of survival," he told the relatives, according to the New York Times.

The teams had been working in continuous 12-hour shifts, and had been assisted by crews from Israel and Mexico.

The death toll jumped by 10 on Wednesday, after Surfside officials say they were able to remove a large section of concrete, leading to the grim discovery.

Rescuers have been filling buckets with concrete by hand, and passing them down a line, as they remove debris. The rubble is being kept in a state warehouse for further inspection.

The mission has been halted several times, due to instability in the mound of rubble and Tropical Storm Elsa, which made landfall in Florida on Wednesday.

A grand jury investigation has been launched to try to determine the reason for the 24 June collapse.

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