Officials said they harboured hope that some of the 156 people unaccounted for might be alive. Firefighters on Saturday made progress on a smouldering fire and smoke beneath the rubble of the 40-year-old building, allowing rescuers to search with fewer limitations, officials said.
Aided by dogs, infrared scanning and heavy equipment, rescuers hope that people can survive in air pockets that may have formed in the debris.
“The biggest thing now is hope,” Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said. “That's what's driving us. It's an extremely difficult situation.”
A 2018 report showed that an engineer found evidence of major structural damage beneath the pool deck and “concrete deterioration” in the underground parking garage of the 12-story oceanfront condominium.
The report, released by town officials, was produced for the condominium board in preparation for a major repair project set for this year.
It was not immediately clear whether the damage described in the report was connected to the collapse about 7:30pm on Thursday.
Vice mayor Tina Paul called the structural issue described in the document “very alarming” in an email on Saturday morning.