THE LATEST: 8 of 9 victims identified from Surfside collapse, 152 remain unaccounted for
Rescue efforts continue Monday at the scene of the Surfside building collapse, a day after authorities released the names of an additional four people who were killed in Thursday’s devastating event.
A total of eight of the nine people pulled from the rubble have now been identified:
· Leon Oliwkowicz: 80 years old; recovered 6/26/2021
· Luis Bermudez: 26 years old; recovered 6/26/2021
· Anna Ortiz: 46 years old; recovered 6/26/2021
· Christina Beatriz Elvira: 74 years old; recovered 6/27/2021
· Stacie Dawn Fang: 54 years old; recovered 6/24/2021
· Antonio Lozano, 83 years old; recovered 6/24/2021
· Gladys Lozano, 79 years old; recovered 6/25/2021
· Manuel “Manny” LaFont, 54 years old; recovered 6/25/2021
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed Sunday night that 152 people are unaccounted for and 134 people are accounted for.
She confirmed that additional human remains have also been recovered at the scene.
The mayor asked those who have not yet reported their loved ones missing to police do so by going to 9301 Collins Ave. in Surfside and speaking with a detective.
She said the site is open 24 hours a day and DNA swabs are being taken at that location in hopes of identifying the victims.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan R. Cominsky said the search-and-rescue effort includes robots, dogs, drones, sonar technology, cameras and numerous teams who are taking turns to explore different sections of the pancaked concrete.
Groups of 10 to 12 rescuers are tunneling through the debris by making cuts and breaches.
While there are multiple obstacles for rescue crews, the weather was on their side Sunday, and they are hoping for more good weather this week. Monday is expected to be cloudy with some possible rain.
“Everyone is working, everyone is doing their job and we are optimistic,” said Moises Soffer, who is part of a search and rescue team from Mexico that is helping out.
Soffer’s team has performed roughly 1,000 similar missions in 26 countries.
Their tiny K-9 is specifically trained to sniff out survivors.
“He can go into creeps, into voids that a big dog could not normally go and also, because of the weight, she can go into places that have more instability that another dog could not go,” he said.
But the process is still painstakingly slow, even with a mapping system to target unchecked areas and the large 125-foot trench that was dug by rescuers that’s also 20-feet wide and 40-feet deep.
An Israeli search team is also on the ground helping Miami-Dade’s Urban Search and Rescue Team as officials explain to families of the missing that the most experienced crew is on the job.
“The commander turned and looked at everybody and said, ‘I think they’ve been doing a perfect job,’” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. “That said a lot and we already knew that. We knew that they’re there, they’re professionals, they’re world class.”
Champlain Towers South is one of a condominium complex of three buildings. There is also Champlain Towers East and Champlain Towers North. Some of the residents of this building are asking officials to do more to prevent another tragedy at one of the two remaining buildings.
The fear has prompted several families to evacuate until town officials conduct inspections and figure out what went wrong with Champlain Towers South.
Gov. Ron DeSantis warned that answering those questions will take time.
FAMILY REUNIFICATION CENTER
The town is hosting those who are waiting for information about unaccounted relatives at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside, at 9449 Collins Ave. Levine Cava said there are two daily briefings for relatives.
For information or to report the status of a loved one who is unaccounted for, call 305-614-1819 or 305-993-1071.
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