The death toll from the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Miami-Dade, rose to 20 after rescuers recovered two new bodies, including that of a seven-year-old girl, the daughter of a firefighter from the city of Miami.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava updated the figures for the search and rescue operation, which this Friday entered its ninth day. Until noon today, Friday, there were 20 people dead, 188 found alive, and 120 missing.
The mayor mentioned the high “human cost” that the operation is having among the first responders and asked everyone to keep them in their thoughts and prayers.RELATED
The television channel Local 10 had advanced this morning that a rescue worker had found the body of his own daughter on Thursday night in the rubble of the partially collapsed building, which the authorities have now confirmed.
The media obtained the information from another member of the task forces, who asked not to be identified.
According to that source, when the girl’s body was found, other rescuers lowered it from the mountain of rubble and the deceased’s father covered it with his jacket and placed a small United States flag on it.
This Thursday, the search for victims resumed after 15 hours of interruption, for fear of possible collapses in the remaining part of the Champlain Towers South building, 40 years old and 136 apartments, of which 55 collapsed .
Levine Cava indicated that engineers are evaluating the impact of the demolition of the part of the building still standing, but doing so may “take weeks”, and stressed that rescuers are eager to start expanding the search area for possible victims.
Added to the instability of the building is the possible arrival of Hurricane Elsa in South Florida early next week.
Levine Cava urged Miami-Dade residents to plan for a possible impact, as they are doing for the site of the June 24 landslide.
Rescue personnel continue to search the rubble for survivors. (David Santiago)
A man waits for information on his missing family after the collapse. (Wilfredo Lee)
People wait for news of their relatives at a makeshift family reunification center. (Lynne Sladky)
Jennifer Carr and her daughter survived the building collapse. (Lynne Sladky)
Andrea and Nellie Gonzalez wait for news of their relatives at the Family Reunification Center established near the area of the collapse. (Lynne Sladky)
Residents of the collapsed building wait for their missing relatives in a makeshift shelter near the incident area. (Lynne Sladky)