Authorities confirmed Thursday emergency workers heard the voice of a woman trapped underneath the heap of rubble in the hours after the Surfside condo collapsed but were unable to get to her in time.
Miami-Dade County Chief Alan Cominsky said during a press conference rescuers heard “audible sounds” from a woman during their initial search of the rubble.
“Unfortunately, during our initial search-and-rescue efforts while we were working underneath the structure, the same structure that’s significantly compromised right now, we did hear audible sounds,” he said, according to Fox News.
“And they were searching for a female voice, is what we heard, for several hours and eventually, we didn’t hear her voice anymore, and we continued searching,” he added.
Cominsky said the team “unfortunately … didn’t have success” in rescuing the woman.
#HappeningNow: (7-1-21) MEDIA BRIEFING 18 – Regarding the Surfside Building Collapse https://t.co/nzYxLC5zpE pic.twitter.com/aHMCPEduxj
— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) July 1, 2021
One rescuer who asked to remain anonymous told Local 10 fire rescue workers were talking to the woman who was trapped and pleading for help. (RELATED: Survivor Of Miami Building Collapse Gives Chilling Account Of Escape)
“Everybody that was there, that’s what we’re trying to do, get this lady out and comfort her.”
“She was asking for help and she was pleading to be taken out of there,” the rescuer reportedly said. “We were continuously talking to her … ‘Honey, we got you. We’re going to get to you.'”
But the rescue worker told the outlet a wall of concrete, a dumpster and a metal rebar was blocking access.
“The first thing I remember is thumping on the wall and then I remember her just talking, ‘I’m here, get me out. Get me out,'” he recounted. Rescuers continued trying to rescue the woman but were informed later that she did not make it.
A supervisor reportedly sent an email expressing concern about the mental health of his rescue team after they were “involved with an active conversation with the female trapped next to the bed 10 to 11 hours after the collapse … She was aware her parents were also trapped next to her.”
As of Friday morning, authorities have confirmed 18 deaths and 145 people are unaccounted for, according to Local 10.