Rescue Efforts Continue After Florida Building Collapse

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Search and rescue personnel working on site after the partial collapse of Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida
Search and rescue personnel working on site after the partial collapse of Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida

Rescue efforts continued through Sunday after the collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida. As of Sunday at 12:00 p.m. ET, the death toll has risen to nine and with more than 150 people missing.  

Rescue workers have searched for survivors amid the massive rubble and the Army Corps of Engineers has been called to aid the efforts.

Local officials on Sunday addressed the rescue efforts. 

“Nothing else is on our mind, with the only objective of pulling their family members out of that rubble,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We are making every effort to identify those others that have been recovered,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference.

The identified victims include a married couple: 83-year-old Antonio Lozano and 79-year-old Gladys Lozano. Stacie Fang, 54, and Manuel LaFont were also identified as victims.

Fang and Antonio Lozano were found on Thursday. LaFont and Gladys Lozano were found on Friday.

Fang’s 15-year-old son was pulled alive earlier on Thursday. His rescue video received wide attention on social media.

LaFont’s wife and children were confirmed to be not in the building when it collapsed. 

Family members of the missing people have been swabbed for DNA samples to help identify human remains as quickly as possible. 

Erika Benitez, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Fire Department, said there could still be people alive under the rubble and that finding survivors is still a possibility. 

Burkett said the rescue efforts will continue in the coming days. “We’re not going to stop ... We’re going to keep going until everybody’s out," he said.

The Champlain Towers South is a beachfront condominium building outside of Miami that was built in 1981. The building collapsed Thursday at about 1:30 a.m. local time.

On Sunday, emails from an engineering firm were released from 2018 that had assessed that major repairs were needed for the building and with an estimated cost of $9 million.

 

 

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