Florida’s rapacious weather finally decided matters.
On Sunday, the last of Champlain Towers South was demolished ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa making landfall. The controlled implosion brought an end to rescue attempts after specialist teams had conceded that it was unlikely that anybody was left alive under the rubble of the building which had partially collapsed nearly a fortnight earlier, killing 24 residents with 118 still missing.
The story is notable in the way of all inexplicable tragedies where the impassive force of nature meets the predictable ineptitude of humans. Should the focus be on the corrosive effect of warm humid salt air on concrete or the failure of America’s building codes? Or is it just another story of natural resources being exploited too heavily? Had the removal of too much groundwater left cavities to form deep underground, producing the increased number of sinkholes that plague the state?