A member of the Israeli search and rescue team (left) salutes in front of the rubble that once was Champlain Towers South during a prayer ceremony and a moment of silence in Surfside, Florida, U.S. July 7, 2021. Jose A Iglesias/Pool via REUTERS

The US authorities announced, on Wednesday, that rescue teams will stop the search for possible survivors under the rubble of an apartment building that partially collapsed, two weeks ago, in the Surfside area near Miami, Florida.

The authorities said they would focus their efforts on removing the rubble to recover the bodies buried beneath them.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that we have taken the very difficult decision this afternoon to move from search and rescue to recovery,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava said.

Kafa indicated that the number of bodies recovered so far reached 54, while 86 people are still missing.

No one has been pulled alive from piles of crushed concrete, sawn wood and twisted metal since the early hours of the disaster in the oceanfront town.

On Sunday, local authorities resorted to demolishing the remaining part of the residential building, in order to reduce the amount of rubble that prevented rescue crews from being able to help any potential survivors after a section of the building collapsed.

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