Miami building collapse – live updates

Beds and clothing left inside Miami building collapse

Rescue teams continue working at the site of the deadly Miami building collapse, after the official death toll rose to nine on Sunday.

More than 150 people remain missing after the Champlain Towers South tower disaster early on Thursday morning.

Search and rescue workers are still trying to locate these missing people, and huge pieces of rubble from the 12-storey Champlain Towers South building were removed Sunday morning to assist with that search.

One problem that impacted the rescue efforts was a fire that’s burning deep within the rubble from the collapse, creating a significant amount of smoke. But authorities were able to get the fire under control on Saturday.

Over the weekend, US media reported that a Surfside official assured residents of the now-collapsed condominium that it was “in very good shape”, a month after an engineering report found it had “major structural damage”.

Ross Prieto, a town inspector, made the comments in a meeting with resident in November 2018, according to NPR.

Those with family members who may have been in the building at the time of its collapse are asked to call 305-614-1819. More information here.


Overview of rescue operation

Here is CNN with an overview of the latest developments from Miami:

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 11:25


Residents of collapsed building were days away from making first repairs payment

Residents of the destroyed condo in Miami were just days away from making their first repairs down payment, it has been revealed.

First recommended three years ago, the work was set to cost apartment owners anywhere between $80,000 (£57,500) and $330,000 (£237,100), according to a cost estimate from Morabito Consultants in 2018. Most of the repairs centred around the pool area and the facade.

The first payment deadline was 1 July, with resident Adalberto Aguero telling AP that he had take out a loan to meet his $80,000 bill.

“I figured I would pay it off after they fixed the building. I didn’t want to pay it off before because you never know,” he said, adding that he had now cancelled all the installment payments.

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 11:05


Nine deaths confirmed so far

Nine people have been confirmed dead after the collapse of Champlain Towers South on Thursday morning.

However, the number of casualties is expected to jump considerably in the coming days, as 152 people still remain missing.

On Friday, Stacie Fang, 54, was named as the tragedy’s first victim by the authorities.

This was followed on Saturday by the news of the deaths of Manuel LaFont, 54; Gladys Lozano, 79; and Antonio Lozano, 83.

The death toll then rose by four yesterday, with the deceased identified as Luis Bermudez, 26; Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74; Leon Oliwkowicz, 80; and Anna Ortiz, 46.

The ninth victim has yet to be named.

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 10:40


Governor of Florida thanks first responders

The governor of Florida has thanked the emergency services for their rescue efforts to date.

Ron DeSantis tweeted that they are “heroes”.

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 10:15


Survivors say building ‘was shaking’ in recent years

Survivors of the collapsed condo in Miami have spoken about how their building “was shaking all the time” in recent years during the construction of a nearby high-rise block.

Eliana Salzhauer, one of Surfside’s three town commissioners, detailed their comments on Sunday evening.

Residents told her there was shaking, cracking and water leaks at Champlain Towers South during the work.

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 09:52


Head of Miami-Dade PD praises international support

Alfredo Ramirez III, director of Miami-Dade Police Department, has praised the international support that Miami has received in the wake of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building.

Rescue crews from Israel and Mexico arrived in Miami on Friday to help with the search operations.

Mr Ramirez tweeted that the incident “has touched the hearts of the entire world”, adding that it was “comforting” – despite the grief – to see the international efforts to locate survivors.

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 09:27


Florida rescuers ‘hopeful’ about finding more survivors

Rescue workers searching the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo still hope they might be able to find more survivors.

On Sunday night, the Democratic representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she had heard from the rescue team about “the hope that they have”.

“We obviously have some realism that we’re dealing with. But … as long as the experts that we trust are telling me they have hope to find people who might have been able to survive, then we have to make sure that we hold on to that hope,” she told reporters.

Meanwhile, the families of the missing were bussed into a site on Sunday, where they could watch the work of firefighters, sniffer dogs and rescue experts using radar and sonar.

Returning to a nearby hotel, Dianne Ohayon, whose parents, Myriam and Arnie Notkin, are missing, said: “We are just waiting for answers. That’s what we want.

“It’s hard to go through these long days and we haven’t gotten any answers yet.”

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 09:05


People visit makeshift memorial for victims of the building collapse

(AFP via Getty Images)

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 08:44


Tower survivor describes trapped neighbours’ calls for help

Steve Rosenthal, 72, had been living in Unit 705 of Champlain Towers South Condo for two decades when his home was destroyed last week.

The septuagenarian was luckier than most and was not trapped by falling concrete, steel or other debris, later being rescued by the emergency services from his balcony.

Speaking to the New York Post, Mr Rosenthal said it was a “miracle” he had survived.

He told the paper how he heard his trapped neighbours, yelling “‘Help me! Help me! Get me out!’”.

“I know these people, these are my neighbours. It is pretty sad stuff,” he added.

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 08:22


Miami official said building was ‘in good shape’ despite concerns set out in engineering report

A Surfside official assured residents of the now-collapsed building in Miami that it was “in very good shape”, a month after an engineering report found it had “major structural damage”, the US media has reported.

Ross Prieto, a town inspector, made the comments to residents of Champlain Towers South in a meeting in November 2018, according to NPR.

His words directly contradicted a report released five weeks earlier, which warned that failed waterproofing in the building’s concrete structural slab needed to be addressed.

Nine people are known to have died after the 12-storey building collapsed on Thursday, with more than 150 people still missing.

Rory Sullivan28 June 2021 08:00

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