The authorities reported that there are 78 fatalities for the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in the town of Surfside, Florida, on June 24, after emergency services have given up locating survivors amid the rubble of the twelve-story tower.
The new balance was provided by Miami-Dade County Deputy Fire Chief Ray Jadallah during a private briefing with the families of the deceased, recorded in a recording published by The New York Times, Where he revealed that in the last 24 hours there were 14 more bodies. There are still 62 missing people.
Among the deceased are relatives of the First Lady from Paraguay, Silvana Abdo – her sister, Sophia López Moreira, her brother-in-law, Luis Pettengill and the youngest of the couple’s three children -, as confirmed by the country’s vice president, Hugo Velázquez.
A group of people at a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Champlain Tower South collapse. Photo: AP
“My deepest condolences to the President of the Republic, Marito Abdo, and to the first lady, Silvana Abdo, for the departure to the Celestial Kingdom of the Pettengill-López Moreira family, so dear to our affections. Peace, consolation and much strength in this sad moment, “he said on his Twitter account.
Paraguay’s foreign minister, Euclides Acevedo, told Paraguayan radio station ABC that the other two children and the family’s nanny, Lady Luna, they are still missing.
On Wednesday, a symbolic and emotional minute of silence paid tribute to the victims and marked the end of the search tasks as they were known until now, assuming that no more people will be found alive among the remains of a building that was completely demolished before the arrival of cyclone Elsa.
The authorities promised that they will continue working until they find all these disappeared, although they will already do it without tracking dogs or listening devices, keys to detect life. After the first hours after the collapse, the emergency services have not returned to locate survivors.
A group of rescuers at the scene of the tragedy in Miami. Photo: AP
“The work continues with full speed and urgency,” Levine Cava said, as reported by the Miami Herald, while indicating that on Thursday the families of the victims they were able to visit the site of the collapse again.
After the demolition of the part of the building that remained standing this past Sunday, the rescue teams found “an increasing number of people, all of whom had died,” Levine Cava explained.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday applauded the search teams’ efforts in the face of a tragedy that, in his own words, “will leave a deep wound for a long time “ in this US state, which this week was also aware of the possible damage that the storm ‘Elsa’ could cause.
For his part, Miami Fire Chief Alan Cominsky revealed that he does not know exactly how many floors the rescue teams have crossed, or how long the operation can take. “The authorities are expecting progress to advance at a faster rate with our recovery efforts,” he added.