14 other victims were recovered from the site of the Champlain Sud towers, according to the mayor


Another 14 victims were recovered from the site of the South Champlain Towers collapse overnight, bringing the total of confirmed deaths to 78, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Friday.

“This is a staggering and heartbreaking number that affects us all very, very deeply,” the mayor told reporters.

At least 47 victims have been identified and next of kin notified, she added, with 200 residents identified and 62 potentially missing.

Experts from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), including the agency’s physical measurement laboratory, have “made significant progress in marking and transporting” more than 200 forensic evidence in the search for clues to the cause of the collapse, according to Levine Cava.

The mayor said 60 trucks a day hauled 13 million pounds of concrete and debris from the site.

More victims identified, police say

Eight other victims were identified by Miami-Dade police on Friday.

Police identified them as Vishai Patel, 42, and Bhavna Patel, 36, who were recovered from the rubble on Tuesday.

And Maria Teresa Rovirosa, 58; Luis Lopez Moreira III, 3; Luis Pettengill, 36; Deborah Berezdivin, 21; and Juan Alberto Mora, 80, all of whose remains were found on Wednesday, police said. Sophia Lopez Moreira, 36, was found on Thursday.

“The magnitude of this tragedy is increasing every day,” said Levine Cava. “It’s a painful hole in the center of this tight-knit family.”

Although the authorities of the The collapse of a condo by the sea site have lost hope of finding survivors in the rubble, they have not lost their commitment to recover the those who are still missing and reunite them with their families, said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett.

The debris pile, once four or five stories high, has been reduced to ground level or below in some areas, Burkett said. The crew “identified, tagged, categorized and stored” all valuables and memorabilia found at the site, he said.

“We have a duty to families,” he said. This business is very, very important work. “

Firefighters met with families Thursday afternoon, where Burkett said a representative told them “Miami-Dade firefighters won’t stop working until they hit the bottom of the pile and recovered each of the missing relatives of the family. “

“The speaker added that I can assure you that we do not stop. And your missing children are coming back to your family,” Burkett added.

Friday was the 16th day since the Champlain Towers South condo building collapsed in the middle of the night, triggering one of the deadliest building collapses in U.S. history, not to mention the deeds of terror or fires.

For nearly two weeks, officials called the effort a rescue mission, but switched to a recovery mission at midnight on Wednesday, after determining that “the viability of living in the rubble” was low, the Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky.

And while the crews still search aggressively, space is made for the community to mourn.

Levine Cava said some of the families who lost loved ones were brought to the site on Thursday for a visit at their request.

“We held a moment of silence with our first responders. They briefly halted their work on the battery to honor the victims and their families and received an aerial salute from the Miami-Dade County Police Department,” said the mayor.

During the research, said Levine Cava, religious leaders are brought into the process.

“Every victim we recover is treated with extreme care and compassion,” said Levine Cava. “We have a designated tent on site, and when a Jewish body is discovered, a prayer is performed and specific protocols are followed, to honor both religious traditions and the integrity of the investigation.”

Victims will have help rebuilding their lives, congresswoman says

Dozens of families have lost loved ones or lost everything they had as they escaped the collapse, and US Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thursday pledged to help the two “put the fragments back together of their lives that were destroyed “by federal action.

“When the cameras go down and the hard work begins to ensure that recovery – not just for those who have been lost, but for the families who have lost everything – we [will] make sure this path is as smooth as possible, “Wasserman Schultz said at a press conference on Thursday.

Wasserman Schultz said she has started working with several federal agencies such as FEMA, NIST and OSHA to meet the long-term needs of families.

The MP said she “would work on the most personal level with my constituents, to see how we can help them, just to overcome the overwhelming bureaucracy that this terrible tragedy has represented”.

Wasserman Schultz said “no one is budgeting for” such “unimaginable and unprecedented tragedy like this”.

“No one is anticipating the kind of response that is needed and therefore it will be absolutely critical to ensure that we stay there for the long haul,” said Wasserman Schultz.

Some of the needs can be met by increasing the federal budget and some may require an emergency supplementary appropriation bill, she said.

Concrete samples from the twin building to be studied

Another priority for officials is to determine what caused the structure to fall and if it will happen to other buildings in the area.

Concrete samples from the Champlain Towers North building were taken to determine if there is potential salt contamination, Burkett said Thursday.

The salt content in the structure would compromise the building, he said.

Burkett said on July 2 that an “in-depth” forensic study would take place on the structure of the Champlain North Towers.

The sister building of the collapsed Champlain South Towers is “much the same as the collapsed building: the same construction, the same developer, the same name, probably the same materials,” he said.

Other buildings in the area will soon receive letters signed by the mayor advising them to take the necessary steps to give residents confidence that their buildings are safe, according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN.

Regardless of the building’s age, recommendations include hiring a structural engineer to review structural drawings and perform a basement examination, as well as a geotechnical engineer to examine the foundation.

“The recommendations are made very cautiously based on the current state of the investigation,” the letter said. “They are intended to serve as an interim methodology to provide residents with some peace of mind until the forensic investigation further progresses.”

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