(CNN)Rescue crews have descended upon the coastal town of Surfside, Florida, as families wait for any news about their loved ones following the collapse of a condo building Thursday.
At least nine people are dead, 152 are unaccounted for and 134 are accounted for in the collapse of Champlain Towers South as of Sunday night, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a press conference.The missing are from at least nine countries, including six Latin American countries, and multiple faith communities.Rescuers from Israel have come to the waterfront town to help local, state and federal agencies in their search efforts. Rescuers from Mexico are expected to arrive Monday. Over the weekend, crews were able to carve out trenches, contain a deep rooted fire, and burrow into the collapse site to pull victims out as crews above ground used K9s, sonar and heavy equipment to locate the missing.People visit the makeshift memorial for the victims of the building collapse, near the site of the accident in Surfside, Florida.On Sunday, some family members were bussed from the reunification center to the site of the collapse to pay their respects and witness the efforts rescuers are making to bring their family home.Read MoreSurfside Mayor Charles Burkett told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Newsroom Sunday that he will continue to support search and rescue operations until everyone is pulled out of the rubble. “I expect miracles. I’m expecting many miracles,” he said.Meanwhile, the collapse has prompted other cities to rethink their certification and recertification processes, with one city less than five miles away from the collapse starting new inspections Monday.The victimsAt least nine people are confirmed dead following the collapse, with eight of them identified by authorities as of Sunday night.The first victim was identified Friday as Stacie Fang, 54. She is the mother of Jonah Handler, the boy who was pulled from the rubble alive, her family said in a statement.”There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie,” the family said. “The many heartfelt words of encouragement and love have served as a much needed source of strength during this devastating time.”Officials identified three more victims on Saturday as Antonio Lozano, 83, Gladys Lozano, 79, and Manuel LaFont, 54.Rescuers battle fire, noise and shifting steel and concrete as they scramble to save livesOn Sunday, they released the identities of four more victims: Leon Oliwkowicz, 80; Luis Bermudez, 26; Anna Ortiz, 46; and Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74. One victim has not yet been identified by authorities. “The process of identifying these victims is very difficult,” Levine Cava said Saturday. “We’re going to be relying on DNA testing. And that is why we’ve already been gathering DNA samples from the family members, so they have all participated and provided DNA to assist us in the investigation.””This allows us to do rapid DNA testing on site for bodies,” she explained.But the painstaking wait is made even more unbearable for some as burials, traditionally done within days after death in the Jewish tradition, are unable to happen until the dead are recovered. The Greater Miami Jewish Federation offered to help community members with arranging funeral and burial services.Search and Rescue teamsRescue teams from other countries are traveling to Florida to assist locals with rescue operations as the scene continues to be a challenging situation.A team of ten rescuers from Israel arrived Sunday morning, Kevin Guthrie, the director for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, told CNN.They went to the collapse scene and “were on the pile almost all day,” Guthrie saidBurkett said a rescue team from Mexico is expected to arrive Monday.Crews have been working non-stop since the collapse early Thursday morning, with rescuers switching out over different shifts as weather and fires complicated their efforts.Search and rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble with their dogs at the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., Sunday, June 27, 2021. Smoke from a deep burning fire made the first days of the rescue operation difficult, as visibility was poor and temperatures were high, according to Burkett. Alan Cominsky, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief, called conditions at the site “horrific.””It’s tough to describe. We don’t have the voids that we are hoping for,” Cominsky said Sunday. “We are still looking. So that’s what I mean by horrific. It’s just a difficult, difficult situation.”Levine Cava said rescuers are using a grid search approach on the pile and continue to utilize sonar, cameras and K9 resources. The issue isn’t resources but luck, according to Burkett. “We have a full complement of very experienced search and rescue people. We have waves of them going over that rubble pile right now,” Burkett told CNN Sunday. “We got everything we need and more, we just need some luck and we had it,” he explained.”We were having the rains we were having the fire. Those have both subsided and now its 100% focus on getting the people out of there,” Burkett said. “We’re doing exactly that. We have armies ready to go 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not going to stop until we pull everybody out.”Structural report showed major issues in 2018While rescuers continue their efforts on the scene of the collapse, new details are coming to light about the integrity of the structure noted in an engineering report more than two years ago.A 2018 report completed by Morabito Consultants, a structural engineering firm, “detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete,” a statement from the firm said Saturday.The group said it provided an estimate to “make the extensive and necessary repairs” to the condo association.The report didn’t indicate whether the structure was at risk of collapse.Morabito was again retained by the condominium association in June 2020 for the building’s 40-year repair and restoration process, according to the statement. Mystery of what caused South Florida condo collapse deepensAt the time of the collapse, there were roof repairs taking place, but concrete restoration had not started, the firm said, adding that it “exclusively provides” engineering consulting services and does not provide construction-related services.”We are deeply troubled by this building collapse and are working closely with the investigating authorities to understand why the structure failed. As we do so, we also continue to pray for all those impacted by this tragic event,” the firm said in the statement.According to a report from NPR, Rosendo Prieto, who worked as the town’s building official at the time, assured residents of Champlain Towers South that their building was “in very good shape” at a November 2018 meeting. NPR cited minutes from the meeting it obtained.Two days before the meeting, Mara Chouela, a member of the condo board, forwarded a copy of a structural engineer’s report to Prieto that warned of “major structural damage,” according to an email released by the town on Saturday.”Structural engineer report was reviewed by Mr. Prieto,” the minutes cited by NPR said, in an apparent reference to the 2018 report from structural engineer Morabito Consultants. “It appears the building is in very good shape,” the minutes noted, according to NPR.Prieto no longer works for Surfside and currently serves as the interim building official for Doral, another city in Miami-Dade County, according to the Doral website and a county document. Prieto has not responded to requests for comment from CNN.Residents raised concerns over tremors during construction of nearby buildingEliana Salzhauer, one of three town commissioners for Surfside, Florida, told CNN Sunday night that survivors of the collapse she encountered have said they felt shaking during construction on a nearby building in recent years. Salzhauer said some of the survivors told her they were bothered by the shaking of their building that occurred while a high-rise was being constructed next door. They told her there was shaking, cracking and water leaking in the garage, she said.”They were very traumatized and shook up,” Salzhauer said, adding she heard people saying the building “was shaking all the time,” during the construction. Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiMembers of the Legendarios, a men’s religious group, gather on Saturday, June 26, for a moment of prayer at the site of the partially collapsed building in Surfside, Florida. Hide Caption 1 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiA woman puts flowers in a barricade as she pays her respects on June 27, 2021.Hide Caption 2 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiMembers of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team look for possible survivors in the partially collapsed condo building on June 27, 2021, in Surfside, Florida. Hide Caption 3 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPassersby look at photos of missing people posted to a fence on June 26, 2021, in Surfside, Florida.Hide Caption 4 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiWorkers search in the rubble on Saturday, June 26, 2021.Hide Caption 5 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiEliagne Sanchez and K. Parker lay flowers on the beach near the partially collapsed building.Hide Caption 6 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiSmoke rises as rescuers continue to search for survivors on June 26, 2021.Hide Caption 7 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPeople stand near the partially collapsed residential building in Surfside on June 25, 2021.Hide Caption 8 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiMourners light candles on the beach near the partially collapsed building in Surfside on June 25, 2021.Hide Caption 9 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiMembers of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team work in the rubble.Hide Caption 10 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiLeo Soto, 25, of Surfside, sets up a memorial site with photos of missing people from the complex. One of the missing people, Nicole Langsfield, is his friend. Hide Caption 11 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiFirefighters battle a blaze as rescue workers search debris at the 12-story oceanfront condo.Hide Caption 12 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiA group of people pray together on the beach next to the site of the Champlain Towers.Hide Caption 13 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPeople hug as they wait for news about their relatives at a community center in Surfside on June 25. Hide Caption 14 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiRescue personnel search through the building’s rubble on June 25.Hide Caption 15 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiToby Fried holds up a picture of her missing brother, Chaim Rosenberg, outside the Surfside Community Center on Friday.Hide Caption 16 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiRescue workers use a crane to inspect the damage on Friday.Hide Caption 17 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiAriana Hevia, center, stands with Sean Wilt near the partially collapsed building on Friday. Hevia’s mother, Cassandra Statton, lives in the building.Hide Caption 18 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiRescue workers arrive to the scene with dogs on Friday.Hide Caption 19 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPeople observe the building from the nearby beach.Hide Caption 20 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiFaydah Bushnaq, center, is hugged by Maria Fernanda Martinez as they stand on the beach near the building. Bushnaq, who was vacationing in South Florida, stopped to write “pray for their souls” in the sand.Hide Caption 21 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiThe arm of an earth mover during the search operations.Hide Caption 22 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiRescue personnel work at the site on June 24.Hide Caption 23 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiYube Pettingill talks to the media. Two of her family members were still missing.Hide Caption 24 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiThis photo was tweeted by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue after the building collapsed on June 24.Hide Caption 25 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiDisplaced residents are taken to a nearby hotel in Surfside.Hide Caption 26 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiThe partial collapse left huge piles of rubble and materials dangling from what remained of the structure.Hide Caption 27 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiFirefighters use a ladder hose as smoke comes out of the rubble on June 24.Hide Caption 28 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis, at center in the red tie, arrives to speak to the media on June 24. “We still have hope to be able to identify additional survivors,” DeSantis told reporters near the scene. “The state of Florida, we’re offering any assistance that we can.”Hide Caption 29 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiDebris dangles from the building on June 24.Hide Caption 30 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPeople hug at a family reunification center where evacuees were staying in Surfside.Hide Caption 31 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiThe cause of the collapse wasn’t immediately known. The building was undergoing roof work, but it’s not known whether this was a factor in the collapse, Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett said.Hide Caption 32 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiJennifer Carr sits with her daughter as they and other evacuees wait for news at the family reunification center in Surfside.Hide Caption 33 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiRescue personnel search through the rubble with dogs on Thursday.Hide Caption 34 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPolice stand guard near the scene on Thursday.Hide Caption 35 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPeople on the beach look at the building after the partial collapse.Hide Caption 36 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiThe building was constructed in 1981, according to online Miami-Dade property records.Hide Caption 37 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiPeople lie on cots at the family reunification center in Surfside.Hide Caption 38 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiThe beachfront community is a few miles north of Miami Beach.Hide Caption 39 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiMore than 80 rescue units responded to the scene, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.Hide Caption 40 of 41 Photos: Deadly building collapse near MiamiRescue personnel work at the site of the partial collapse.Hide Caption 41 of 41Salzhauer also said the 2018 report completed by structural engineers was alarming.”In hindsight, reading that report is very damning. You read that report you go, ‘My god. How could they miss this?'” Salzhauer said.Magaly Ramsey, daughter of missing Magaly Delgado, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Saturday that her mother had been concerned about shaking from the nearby construction. “When the other building beside it, which is relatively new, was being built, she did complain of a lot of tremors and things that were being done to the other building that she sometimes was concerned what may be happening to her building,” Ramsey explained.Delgado wasn’t the only one to raise concern. In an email to Prieto in 2019, Chouela, the condo board member, said she was concerned the nearby construction was “digging too close to our property.””We have concerns regarding the structure of our building,” Chouela said.Local leaders reviewing building protocolsThe deadly collapse prompted nearby cities and towns to review their building recertifcation protocols.Less than five miles north of Surfside, the city of Sunny Isles Beach will begin sending teams to inspect buildings Monday after announcing Saturday that they would modify the existing process for 40-year recertifications of buildings, Vice Mayor Larisa Svechin told CNN.'Our heart goes out to them:' Biden speaks on Florida building collapse as rescue efforts enter second day“The more the residents see what we’re doing, the better it is for everyone,” Svechin explained.On Friday the city of Miami sent a letter urging buildings that are over six stories and more than 40 years old to get an inspection from a qualified structural engineer, Stephanie Severino, Director of Communication for the City of Miami told CNN. They are being asking to respond within 45 days with any potential structural concerns.Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer told CNN in an email Sunday that his city is creating “more stringent standards for certifications of buildings” following the Surfside collapse.”Our building staff has been working with other jurisdictions to determine the best practices,” Singer said in the email. “A number of our condos have been working on comprehensive restorations. We can expect more of these efforts and increased steps to ensure the safety and welfare of our residents.”
400 Bad Request
400 Bad Request