Relief agencies recovered the last three bodies that were buried in the debris from a Medellin residential building that collapsed earlier this month, according to the city’s mayor.
Mayor Anibal Gaviria, while reporting the bodies’ recovery said he wanted to express his “enormous gratitude for the professional work of relief agencies who conducted the recovery of the last three people who were missing.” He added that the operation concluded without incident, despite the considerable risk posed to the rescue team by the adjacent tower which is said to also be unstable.
Solidaridad a las familias, y reconocimiento y gratitud a todos los miembros de los grupos de rescate
— Aníbal Gaviria C. (@anibalgaviria) October 27, 2013
The 24-story Tower 6 of the brand-new housing complex in Medellin’s prosperous Poblado neighborhood collapsed on October 12. A team of ten construction workers sent in to inspect the damage were killed along with at least one resident, according to reports. Two other residents who were inside the building survived but were seriously injured.
The building had been evacuated the day before after the it began to shake and cracks appeared on the walls. The apartment complex was completed just this year and had apartments that were sold at prices between $100,000 and $265,000. Neighboring towers are said to potentially be at risk and have been evacuated.
Gaviria said on Saturday, after visiting workers who removed the rubble, that the adjacent Tower 5 is set to be cleared. Officials said that a proposal for the demolition operation will be delivered next week.
City authorities have launched an inquiry into the cause of the collapse and construction company CDO Constructora has already said it had identified a flaw in one of the building’s concrete columns.