Shomporko Online News Desk: The death toll from the collapse of a Miami-area condo complex grew to 79 on Friday, as rescue personnel continued their search for victims under the rubble for the 16th day. A total of 61 persons are still missing.
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade stated the search for victims was still ongoing.
The increased death toll, according to Levine Cava, is “a stunning and terrible number that touches all of us deeply.”
On Thursday, Paraguay’s foreign minister said in a radio report that the body of the sister of that country’s first lady was among those found. Several Latin American citizens were reported in the building when it collapsed. Rescue workers now focused on finding remains instead of survivors have pledged to keep up their search for victims until they clear all the debris at the site.
The painstaking search for survivors shifted to a recovery effort at midnight Wednesday after authorities said they had come to the agonizing conclusion that there was “no chance of life” in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside.
Hope of finding survivors was briefly rekindled after workers demolished the remainder of the building, allowing access to new areas of debris. Some voids where survivors could have been trapped did exist, mostly in the basement and the parking garage, but no one was found alive. Instead, teams recovered more than a dozen additional victims.
Since the initial hours after the 12-story building collapsed on June 24, no one has been rescued alive.
Families of the fatalities, as well as occupants of the building who survived but lost everything, have been promised financial aid by state and municipal officials. Meanwhile, a grand jury probe investigating the collapse has been launched. Families have also filed at least six lawsuits.
Source_ The Canadian Press