At least nine dead, 152 unaccounted for in Florida condo tower collapse

At least nine dead, 152 unaccounted for in Florida condo tower collapse

June 30, 2021: -On Sunday, nine people are confirmed dead, and 152 are unaccounted for as search and rescue operations continued, almost four full days after a 12-story condominium building collapsed in Florida, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference.

“We continue to sweep the mound with our canines, using all of the technology available to us and machinery to lift the debris,” Levine Cava said to the reporters.

On Thursday, Champlain Towers South partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, just north of Miami Beach. According to the Miami-Dade mayor, the families of the missing were allowed to visit the site for the first time Sunday privately.

“We ask you to keep praying for all of the families in this impossibly difficult time as they’re waiting for news and keep praying for our first responders who keep on toiling to find loved ones,” Levine Cava said.

On Saturday, search and rescue teams created a 125-feet-long trench at the rescue site, which allowed authorities to recover additional bodies and human remains, Levine Cava said at a press conference Sunday morning.

On Saturday, Miami-Dade police identified four deceased as Stacie Dawn Fang, 54; Antonio Lozano, 83; Gladys Lozano, 79; and Manuel LaFont, 54. Levine Cava said on Sunday that another four victims have now been identified.

“We can now report that we have identified an additional four of the victims,” the mayor said.

“We are working to notify those next of kin first,” Miami-Dade mayor added.

On Sunday, Levine Cava and Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told the press that searchers contained fire in the rescue site on Saturday and continued rescue operations. According to Levine Cava and Burkett, teams from Mexico and Israel are aiding rescue efforts.

“We don’t have a resource problem. We’ve had a luck problem. We need to start to get a little luckier right now,” Burkett said on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday morning.

On Sunday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that debris would be moved from the rescue site to a separate location for forensic analysis at the press conference.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the collapse of Thursday. An engineer in a 2018 report warned of “major structural damage” in the condo building, which collapsed. The report identified issues with waterproofing lower than the pool deck and “abundant cracking” in the underground parking garage.

On Saturday, Levine Cava ordered a 30-day audit of all residential properties, five stories or higher, 40 years or older, and fall under the county’s jurisdiction. The mayor encouraged cities to do their building reviews too.

Surfside has authorized a voluntary evacuation of residents of Champlain Towers North, the sister property of the collapsed building built.

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