(SURFSIDE, Fla.) — The death toll of the devastating partial collapse of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida last month rose to 94, officials announced Monday.
The recovery effort entered its 19th day on Monday and officials said 84 victims are now identified, 222 people are accounted for, and 22 are potentially unaccounted for.
Mayor Miami-Dade Daniella Cava also spoke about the weather’s impact on the recovery mission during a news conference Monday. She said that the weather service was embedded in the recovery efforts and that weather issues are expected for the next few days.
The mayor also said that police and medical examiner teams were working around the clock to identify victims and that 207 families have been served at a family assistance center.
The disaster occurred on June 24 around 1:15 a.m. local time at the Champlain Towers South condominium in the small, beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach. Approximately 55 of the oceanfront complex’s 136 units were destroyed, according to officials. The rest of the building was demolished, due to concerns over structural integrity and an incoming tropical storm.
The death toll has soared since the remainder of the condo building was destroyed and no longer posed a threat to the recovery search area.
While there is still much recovery work to be done, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters family members and first responders took part in a memorial walk on Saturday night and paid tribute to everyone who has supported the efforts.
Levine Cava thanked the search and rescue teams who came from Israel and provided two commanders with keys to the city before they departed back home.
“We took a moment to celebrate and thank the men and women from all the search and rescue teams … who have been working 24 hours a day for the last two and a half weeks,” she said.
The cause of the partial collapse to a building that has withstood decades of hurricanes remains unknown and is under investigation. Built in the 1980s, the Champlain Towers South was up for its 40-year recertification and had been undergoing roof work — with more renovations planned — when it partially collapsed, according to officials.
Surveys and inspections of the surrounding buildings are still ongoing.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.