[NFA] As the death toll rose to nine with more than 150 people still missing, rescue teams on Sunday kept picking through the rubble of the Florida condo building that collapsed three days ago, as questions swirled about the tower's structural integrity.
“So I am confirming today that the death toll is at nine….” As the death toll rose to nine Sunday with more than 150 people still missing, rescue teams kept picking through the rubble of the Miami-area condo building that collapsed last week.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the additional bodies, and human remains, were found as the rescue team dug a massive trench through rubble overnight.
“We’ve identified four of the victims and notified the next of kin.
My deepest condolences to the families, the friends, the communities to those who’ve lost their lives, and my prayers with the families and the whole community as they mourn this tragic loss.” The four of the nine victims identified ranged in age from 54 to 83.
They were a couple married for 58 years, a volunteer Little League baseball coach and the mother of a 15-year-old boy who was one of the few survivors of the collapse.
Officials remained hopeful more survivors would be found in air pockets that may have formed in the pancaked debris.
The searchers - including experts sent by Israel and Mexico - are using drones, sonar, dogs and infrared scanners.
Meanwhile, questions swirl about the tower's structural integrity.
Surfside officials have released documents including an engineer's report from 2018 that found major structural damage beneath the pool deck and "concrete deterioration" in the underground parking garage of the 12-story building.
The report was produced for the Champlain Towers South condominium board in preparation for a major repair project set for this year.
A lawyer who works with the condo association said the issues outlined in the report were typical for older buildings in the area and did not alarm board members, all of whom lived in the tower.