Search For Bodies In Collapsed Condo Over, Death Toll Reaches 98
Update July 27, 2021
The search for bodies in the collapsed Miami Condo is over.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 23, 2021Loading the player...
After more than a month, the search for bodied in the collapsed Chaplain Towers South is over. In total, 98 bodies were identified in the ruble of the condo building that collapsed last month in the middle of the night. Estelle Hedaya, 54, is the final victim identified.
“Nothing we can say or do will bring back these 98 angels, who left behind grieving families, beloved friends, loved ones across this community and across the world,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County said in a news conference. “But we have done everything possible to bring closure to the families.”
The search operation of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla. is nearing the end. Search crews have been working at the site for almost three weeks after the tragic collapse that has claimed at least 95 victims.
The search for victims in the collapsed Champlain Towers South is nearing its end.
The sudden collapse of the condo building in Surfside, Fla. shocked the nation when it came down three weeks ago in the middle of the night. Search teams immediately descended on the site and started to search for possible survivors. Now, the search is coming to an end with 14 people left unaccounted. The death toll from the collapse has reached 95.
The rest of the family of Paraguay’s First Lad were recently discovered in the rubble. The two nieces of the first lady, 6-year-old Anna Sophia Pettengill López Moreira and 9-year-old sister Alexia Maria Pettengill López Moreira, have been identified in the rubble. Search teams also recovered the body of 23-year-old Leidy Vanessa Luna Villalba who was a nanny for the children.
“I regret and sadly have to report the confirmation of the discovery of the lifeless bodies of Sophia López Moreira, Luis Pettengill, and the youngest of their children,” Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo announced told Telefuturo and ABC Cardinal radio when the bodies were first recovered. “We are still pending the search for the other bodies of our compatriots. We ask for solidarity and prayer of the citizens because finally, they are compatriots, and in the face of a tragedy the Paraguayan people have to demonstrate their traditional solidarity.”
The Guardian reports that there are still 14 people missing from the tower. Of those, 12 have been reported as missing and authorities are trying to verify the other two. Crews have so far removed 18,000,000 pounds of rubble from the site.
Update July 9, 2021
The remains of some of the family members of Paraguay’s First Lady have been located in the collapsed Miami condo building. The family members are part of a growing number of dead people being pulled from the rubble of the building that collapsed two weeks ago.
After two weeks, part of the Paraguayan’s First Lady’s missing family has been recovered.
Silvana López Moreira was one of the first high-profile people to announce that they had family members who lived in the Champlain Towers South condo building that collapsed in Surfside, Fla. After two weeks, remains of some of her missing family have been recovered. Rescuers found Sophia López Moreira, Silvana’s sister, her husband Luis Pettengill, and their youngest son Luis López Moreira.
The rescue mission is still underway as the families wait to hear news about the recovery of the couple’s missing daughters and the nanny Leidy Luna Villalba. Villalba was a student at the Universidad San Lorenzo. The nanny’s family is anguished over the news that Villalba was in the building.
According to NBC News, Villalba’s mom said that she took the job as a nanny to pay for her college education. When the family moved to Miami, it gave Villalba her first opportunity to travel outside of their small village and Paraguay.
“It represented many things. It wasn’t an easy decision for her or the family. It was like another world for us. It was a challenge, a very important challenge that she wanted to take on,” Lourdes Luna, Villalba’s cousin, told NBC News, “until what happened.”
Update July 7, 2021
Weeks have passed since the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Fla. collapsed. As of Wednesday, 54 people are confirmed dead and 86 remain unaccounted. The efforts have changed from a rescue mission to recovery as 10 deaths were confirmed in one day.
Authorities are no longer treating the search of Champlain Towers South as a rescue mission.
Officials in Miami announced Wednesday that the search and rescue efforts were over as they shift to recovery. Workers have been digging through the rubble of the collapsed condo building for two weeks in an attempt to rescue as many people as possible. Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told the families of the victims about the shift in the mission during a private briefing on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
“Our sole responsibility at this point is to bring closure,” Jadallah said, according to the AP.
The longer the search has gone on, the least likely it has become for there to be other survivors. According to various reports, there has been no discovery of pockets in the collapsed structure where people could have survived.
Update July 1, 2021
It has been a week since the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Fla. collapsed in the middle of the night. Crews have been working tirelessly to reach survivors in the rubble but the efforts are on hold.
The site of the Champlain Towers South rescue work is idle over concerns the rest of the building could collapse.
Rescue workers were told around 2 a.m. to pull back from work at the site of the collapsed building over concern for their safety. After a week of painstaking work to locate survivors among the rubble, shifting concrete slabs in the remaining structure is causing serious concern. One concrete column, which hangs over the underground parking area, has moved six to 12 inches as crews have worked underneath it.
The severity of the risk was enough for police personnel to clear all rescue workers from the area and the cranes used to move debris have also been moved. There is no timeframe as to when rescue efforts can resume but officials in Florida have told the media that they remain committed to the work of removing the debris.
“Definitely we want to continue to focus on search and rescue, so we’ll have a meeting with the structural engineers and develop different plans, so we can evaluate and see what’s best,” Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said during a news conference.
So far, 18 people have been confirmed dead and 145 are still unaccounted.
A frantic search is underway for people trapped under the ruins of a condominium building in Surfside, Fla. Emergency responders were at the scene early in the morning searching for missing people trapped beneath the rubble.
A shocking video shows the moment part of a condo builging in Miami collapsed.
Emergency responders were are the scene at 1:30 a.m. local time after calls that a building had collapsed in the middle of the night. The video shows a majority of the structure collapsing for seemingly no reason. Reactions to the collapse on social media have gone viral as people try to make sense of the sudden and jarring collapse of the building.
One person has died and 99 people are unaccounted for after the collapse.
Champlain Towers South Condo on Collins Ave. is a 12-story structure and 55 of the 136 units in the building collapsed and 99 people are currently unaccounted. Both the Venezuelan and Argentinian consulates have announced that some of their citizens are among those missing. According to CNN, four Venezuelan and eight Argentinian citizens are among those in the rubble.
Among the missing is family of Paraguay’s first lady.
Euclides Acevedo, Paraguay’s foreign minister, said in interviews that the sister of first lady Silvana López Moreira, Sophia López Moreira, is among the missing people. Her husband Luis Pettengill, their three children, and Lady Luna Villalba are also missing.
“This is a very sad moment in our community,” Jose “Pepe” Diaz, chairman of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, said in a news conference. “It is important that all prayers go out to all family members and those suffering right now.”
The full extent of the partial collapse is staggering.
The building collapse is something many didn’t think they’d see in the U.S. It will be a long time until a full investigation into the collapse will offer any answers. Until then, mitú will continue to monitor the story and bring updates to readers as they become available.