- 24 people are confirmed dead
- 124 people are missing, 188 accounted for
- Miami-Dade Mayor signs local state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa
- President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Surfside on Thursday, July 1
- 2018 report warned of “major structural damage” below the pool deck
SURFSIDE, Fla. — Twenty-four people are dead and many more are still missing after part of a South Florida building collapsed early Thursday, June 24, Miami-Dade officials confirmed.
Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency for 15 Florida counties, including Miami-Dade, ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also signed a local state of emergency on Saturday, July 3, in preparation for Elsa. She said it will ensure all necessary resources are mobilized, so the county is ready for any possible impacts.
The mayor announced during a July 3 news conference that two additional victims were found in the rubble, bringing the death toll to 24. Officials said they are working to make plans to demolish the remainder of the building as soon as possible, and it could be brought down within the next 36 hours.
Crews are continuing to find victims in the rubble of the building collapse, and one of the victims included a City of Miami firefighter’s 7-year-old daughter. There are 188 people accounted for and 124 people still missing.
President Joe Biden visited Surfside Thursday and approved 25 million in FEMA funds for Surfside, Miami-Dade officials. Biden also spent three hours with the families of the victims and first responders
Several bodies that have been found so far have been identified using DNA from the families, Mayor Cava said.
Miami-Dade Police released the names of these victims that are confirmed dead:
- Stacie Dawn Fang, 54
- Antonio Lozano, 83
- Gladys Lozano, 79
- Manuel LaFont, 54
- Leon Oliwkowicz. 80
- Luis Bermudez, 26
- Anna Ortiz, 46
- Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74
- Michael David Altman, 50
- Marcus Joseph Guara, 52
- Frank Kleiman, 55
- Hilda Noriga, 92
- Lucia Guara, 10
- Emma Guara, 4
- Anaely Rodriguez, 42
- Andreas Giannitsopoulos, 21
Officials said they will not release identities until the victim’s families have been notified.
The mayor said officials will be conducting a full investigation with local, state, and federal officials.
As officials continue to investigate what caused the collapse at the Champion Towers South, city officials in Surfside released a trove of documents related to the building, including a consultant’s 2018 report. NBC News reported the consultant warned there was evidence of “major structural damage” below the pool deck of the condo building nearly three years before it collapsed.
Morabito Consultants, a company who inspected the building in 2018, released this statement Saturday:
MC Issues Statement on Building Collapse in Surfside, Fla. pic.twitter.com/6tGp5A6qtt
— Morabito Consultants (@MorabitoConsult) June 26, 2021
Miami-Dade officials have asked residents in the second building to temporarily relocate, and they are working with FEMA to make those arrangements, but this is not mandatory. It’s a voluntary relocation if residents want the option. Officials said they plan to do a deep dive over the next few weeks to make sure it’s safe.
Governor Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency in Miami-Dade County while crews continue to work.
President Biden authorized the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts on the federal level.
VIDEO OF BUILDING COLLAPSING:
More than 80 units responded to the condominium building that collapsed near 88th Street and Collins Avenue just north of Miami Beach around 2 a.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said.
Miami-Dade’s Technical Rescue Team and local fire departments are assisting in the search for survivors, NBC6 in Miami reported.
Southwest Florida’s own Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 6 headed to Surfside to support first responders already on site. The team is made up of firefighters, specialists, volunteers, and three Lee County EMS paramedics. They are trained to search rubble and provide emergency medical care, Lee County Public Safety said.
This video is no longer available
Crews started working their search underneath the rubble, and said that they are detecting sound using Sonar. Engineers are out to secure the structure, so it doesn’t fall on firefighters.
One witness posted video of the aftermath on social media and said his hotel across the street needed to be evacuated.
“The building, one of these huge buildings, gone, right there beside us, the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” the man said in the video. “Look at the building, it’s gone.”
“Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is on scene, they’re conducting rescues as we speak,” Surfside Police Sgt. Marian Cruz said. “It’s a very active scene, I advise everyone to just stay out of the area so that fire rescue and officers can conduct rescues and do what we need to do.”
The 12-story building was built in 1981 and had more than 136 apartment units, records showed. Officials said they don’t why the South Florida building collapsed.
A survivor said she escaped from the 9th floor and that the collapse sounded like an earthquake