Diaspora Affairs Minister in Miami: No chance of finding more survivors

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai meets with local officials and rescue crews; will prepare plan for Israeli assistance to stricken Jewish community.

By World Israel News Staff

After rescue crews combed through rubble of the Champlain Towers for four days, an Israeli cabinet minister dispatched to Miami expressed pessimism that any more survivors would be found.

The 12-story condominium collapsed without warning on Thursday morning. The death toll currently stands at nine with 152 unaccounted for. Around 6,000 Jews live in the Surfside neighborhood of Miami. According to the Israeli consulate in Miami, more than two-dozen of the missing persons had Israeli citizenship.

“I say with regret, the chances of finding survivors is zero … I was on the site, it doesn’t look like anyone could survive,” Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai told Radio 103FM Monday morning.

Since Sunday, Shai has met with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, U.S. Senator Rick Scott, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, search and rescue teams, local Jewish leaders and other local officials. When he returns to Israel, Shai will present Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with plans for Israeli assistance to the stricken Jewish community.

Investigators don’t yet have answers as to why 55 of the tower’s 136 apartment units collapsed. Reports have raised an array of problems, including faulty waterproofing, cracked columns, and land sinking beneath the aging building. Kobi Karp, a prominent Miami architect and Israeli native told ABC News the the collapse likely resulted from “a collection of bad things.”