Israeli army forms 3D images of fallen Florida condo to find victims

Israeli army forms 3D images of fallen Florida condo to find victims

06/30/2021

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The Israeli military has created an intricate set of three-dimensional mapping diagrams of the collapsed Florida condo building and the surrounding disaster site as part of its efforts to assist local authorities in finding victims in the rubble.

The Israel Defense Forces provided The Post with various images of the remaining portion of the gutted Champlain Towers South in Surfside, where the death toll stood at 16 as of Wednesday afternoon.

There are still 147 people unaccounted for, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press briefing. 

Capt. Uri Jospe, a reserves civilian population officer, told The Post in a phone interview from Florida that the images were created by the Israeli military’s secretive Unit 9900, which is tasked with gathering visual intelligence, including geographical data from satellites and planes.

The IDF’s Intelligence Directorate’s unit created the 3-D models to map the collapsed building in order to streamline the process of locating the missing people.

“Based on what the rescuers are finding, including artifacts, and what we gather from the families, the unit created the 3-D modeling that is very accurate,” said Jospe, 36, adding that the high-tech unit also composed images of the building before the collapse to compare the landmarks to the pancaked remains.

“So that means that we know that if someone was in apartment X, we can try and find their location now,” he said.

The commander of Unit 9900, identified only as “Lt. N,” said in a statement that his team has utilized “advanced technological capabilities” to help the Home Front Command unit at the disaster site.

“We analyzed the collapsed building and built a three-dimensional model of the structure. Our model will allow the Home Front Command delegation to further assist in the rescue efforts and navigate through the rubble more quickly and effectively,” the officer said.

“We are grateful for the privilege and responsibility to take part in such an important international effort,” the lieutenant added.

Officials are holding out hope of finding more survivors in the rubble of the building, but no one has been found alive since the early hours of the disaster last Friday.

“We are here to find as many people as possible.”

Capt. Uri Jospe, an Israeli reserves civilian population officer

In Israel, the 3-D maps created by members of Unit 9900 – 58 percent of whom are women – allow for ground forces as well as fighter pilots to get the full picture of enemy territory even before they head into action, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The 15 members of the IDF delegation in Florida are helping coordinate two main activities at the scene — assisting the local first responders with rescue efforts, aided by the 3-D mapping, and supporting the families of the missing.

On Wednesday, Col. Golan Vach, commander of the Israeli National Rescue Unit, told CNN in Florida that first responders had discovered new tunnels in the debris Tuesday night, which allowed for the discovery of more bodies.

Jospe stressed that the Israeli delegation was working hand in hand with the Americans, who he said have been doing a “great job” since the building crumbled into a massive pile of rubble a week ago.

Asked about the prospects of finding survivors, the officer said that “our assumption is always that you will be alive.”

“That’s how we work, no matter what the chances are, we keep on hoping and we don’t assume anything. We are here to find as many people as possible,” Jospe said, adding that his team members “feel very welcomed here.”

“We feel that the families … appreciate that we have arrived here to help,” he said.

The Israeli contingent is scheduled to return home on Sunday, Jospe added, but noted that plans could change depending on developments.

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