The bodies of four more victims have been found in the rubble of the collapsed Champlain Towers condominium in Surfside, Florida, bringing the death toll from the June 24 tragedy to 32, with 26 of the victims identified. There are 113 more people who are still unaccounted.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a Tuesday morning briefing there are “only around 70 that we can confirm were in the building at the time of collapse.”
She urged families of loved ones who are missing to file a missing person report with police so detectives can continue to work on an accurate and complete list. “We know that waiting for news is unbearable,” she said. “We need information to be able to confirm who is missing.”
Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah shared the new numbers with family members in a closed-door briefing Tuesday morning. He added that rescuers have also been finding more human remains.
Those with loved ones at the condo building – missing or safe – are being asked by officials to call 305-614-1819; anyone who lived at the condo towers and is safe, is asked to complete a Wellness Check form to help Miami-Dade County track missing individuals.
Rescue crews are continuing to comb through the debris in their hunt for survivors at the site, located at 8777 Collins Avenue, even as the outer bands of Tropical Storm Elsa approach and are expected to bring gale-force winds and downpours to the area.
The Miami Herald reported Tuesday, “The National Weather Service has embedded its personnel with the search and rescue crews in order to track changes that could impact the work and safety of first responders.”
Strong winds are affecting the use of cranes at the site, but searchers are continuing to work despite the rain. So far, workers have removed 124 tons of debris, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Director Alan Cominsky.
The demolition of the remaining condo, which was no longer safe, has freed up areas of the building that were not accessible before. There are at least 200 firefighters per shift actively searching for survivors, not including the crews of foreign search and rescue experts, including a 15-member delegation from Israel.