WATCH LIVE: Surfside building collapse recovery efforts continue as death toll rises to 86
The recovery efforts in Surfside are moving at a faster pace since the remaining structure was demolished nearly a week ago.
On Saturday, work was paused briefly around 7 a.m. due to a lightning strike, but work resumed within an hour, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
Poor weather is expected to continue Saturday and first responders will work as much as are able to despite the rain and wind.
Six additional victims were recovered, the mayor said, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths to 86.
The mayor said 62 victims have been identified and 61 families or next of kin have been notified, while 43 people remain potentially unaccounted for.
“We can only truly account for a missing person that is deceased once an identification is made,” said Levine Cava.
Late Friday night officials released the identities of four more victims that were removed from the rubble.
The bodies of Benny Weisz, 31, and Angela Velasquez, 60, were recovered on Thursday while Ilan Naibryf, 21, and Leidy Luna Villalba, 23, were among 12 victimes that crews recovered Wednesday.
Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Ray Jadallah reiterated Friday that rescue crews continue working above and beyond.
“Historically, recoveries don’t necessarily occur at night and we made it a point to operate 24 hours a day to bring closure to the families,” said Jadallah.
First responders have been working in dangerous conditions. On Friday, three workers required medical attention and another suffered a cardiac incident and had to be hospitalized.
It was earlier in the week on Wednesday when officials made the difficult decision to switch efforts from search and rescue to search and recovery.
In the days following the collapse, officials were quick to begin looking for other buildings in South Florida that could have similar issues, which included a condo in North Miami Beach and as of Friday, the Miami-Dade County Courthouse located downtown.
Engineers and officials have also been examining the Champlain Towers North, which was built by the same developer of the collapsed south towers and around the same time in 1981, with similar materials and design.
HOW TO HELP: Here’s a list of resources to support those impacted by building collapse Profiles: More about the victims identified Photos: Loved ones name those they say are missing Photos: Search-and-rescue teams in action Hotline and wellness form for residents and families