USAR - Florida Task Force Two

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Humberto Vidal Explosion

The Humberto Vidal Explosion - 1996

The Humberto Vidal Explosion (sometimes also referred to as the Río Piedras Explosion) was a gas explosion that occurred on November 21, 1996 at the Humberto Vidal shoe store located in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. The explosion killed 33 and wounded more than 80 others when the building collapsed. It is considered one of the deadliest  disasters to have occurred on the island.


Metro-Dade (FLTF-1) Task Force began performing search and rescue operations inside the Humberto Vidal Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Saturday, November 23, South Florida (FLTF-2) Task Force joined search and rescue operations. Task Force members manually sifted through debris within the collapsed building in order to protect trapped individuals.

Hurricane Katrina