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Firefighters end search at Florida condo collapse, engineer warns nearby avenue could fail

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — The firefighters who responded to the collapse of a South Florida condominium last month have officially ended their search and rescue mission. Forensic experts are still working to identify human remains, however.

Miami Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah says the firefighters declared their mission over at noon on Friday.

They left the site in a convoy of official vehicles. The June 24 collapse killed at least 97 people and at least one more person believed missing in the disaster has yet to be identified.

An engineer hired to help figure out why the building collapsed last month is warning officials that it still might not be safe enough to reopen the avenue out front.

Structural engineer Allyn Kilsheimer warned officials in a letter on Thursday that Collins Avenue could crumble. All that remains of the Champlain building are the walls of the underground parking garage around a hollowed-out foundation.

He says that traffic could cause the nearby wall to fail and parts of the street to collapse. Miami-Dade officials say they’ll shore up the walls before fully opening the main thoroughfare for beachfront cities.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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