19:08 GMT26 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden’s visit to the collapsed residential building site in Surfside, Florida, will not affect the search and rescue operations there, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Thursday.

    Biden left Washington earlier in the day and is currently meeting with rescue crews and relatives of those still unaccounted for in building collapse incident.

    "President Biden's visit today will have no impact on what happens at the site. The search and rescue operation will continue as soon as it is safe to do so," Cava said.

    The 12-story residential building in Surfside partially collapsed in the early hours last Thursday. Since, massive search and rescue operations have been undertaken to pull residents out from the rubble. The death toll in the incident stands at 18 with 147 residents still unaccounted for.

    The US Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology has recently launched an investigation into the causes of the building collapse. According to US media reports, an engineer who inspected the building three years ago warned the owners of major structural damage and recommended repairs.

    Tags:
    Joe Biden, building collapse, Miami, US
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