Death toll at 16 a week after condominium collapse in Florida: Mayor | Construction News

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday the death toll from the condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, went to Wednesday 16 when aid teams continued to search for the missing.

«U number of deaths is at 16, ”Levine Cava said at a press conference.“ Twelve notifications from closest relatives have been completed ”and 147 remain unaccounted for.

The collapse of the 40-year-old Champlain Towers South condominium, which occurred on June 24, could be one of the deadliest structural accidental failures in U.S. history.

A Miami-Dade County police boat is anchored as emergency workers conduct search and rescue efforts at the site of a partially collapsed residential building in Surfside, near Miami Beach, Florida, on Aug. 30. June 2021 [Joe Skipper/Reuters]

Levine Cava said the “world looks on” as his community continues its search and rescue efforts. “During the last few days. Our detectives have been working 24 hours a day to reach out to any person who has been told they may be missing by a loved one. “

Reports of the deaths identified are beginning to emerge.

A former professor said Luis Andres Bermudez, a young graphic artist from Puerto Rico, was a courageous inspirational artist who never let a disability hold him from his dreams or dampen his sunny disposition. Andres Bermudez, 26, lived with his mother Ana Ortiz, 46, who was also identified as one of the victims of the collapse.

“Luis Andres is an example of courage and bravery FOR ALL of us,” said Jose J Ortiz Carlo, a teacher who taught Bermudez in a photography class at Robinson School in Puerto Rico, where he graduated in 2014.

Despite being locked in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy, Bermudez, known as Luiyo, never missed school and was always smiling, the teacher said on Facebook.

Another man was Michael Altman, 50, who moved to the United States from Costa Rica with his parents when he was about 4 years old, according to one of his two children, Nicholas Altman.

Altman told the Miami Herald that his father was “a much-loved guy … He’s overcome a lot of obstacles in his life, and he’s always out.”

“It always inspired my brother and I to succeed in life.”

An accountant with dual American and Costa Rican citizenship, Altman had lived in the Champlain Towers South building for more than six years in a unit that had been in the family since the 1980s.

No one has been pulled alive from the mounds of powdered concrete, chipped wood and twisted metal since the early hours of the disaster.

Officers said they still bring hope finding survivors.

Speaking at the press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the fall out it was something “that I don’t think any of us will ever forget, but it’s also something for some who will need additional help and so we have mental health resources … we’ve been able to link individual families to their demand for that. support “.

Questions remain

Investigators have not concluded what caused nearly half of the tower that residents slept in the early hours of last Thursday.

But a 2018 engineering report on the 12-story, 136-unit complex, prepared ahead of a building safety recertification process, found structural deficiencies that are now the focus of questions.

Earlier in April, the president of the condominium association warned residents in a letter that the severe cement damage identified by the engineer around the base of the building had become “significantly worse.”

Emergency workers are conducting search and rescue efforts at the site of a partially collapsed residential building in Surfside, near Miami Beach, Florida, on June 30, 2021. [Joe Skipper/Reuters]

Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said she will convene a special special jury, out of any potential criminal investigation, to examine the security of the building and “what steps we can take to safeguard it.” our residents ”from similar disasters in the future.

Levine Cava told the press conference that he “has been in close contact with” Rundle. “Hopefully she’ll ask the grand jury to do an investigation” when Miami-Dade moves forward “with our county audit.”

President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, were scheduled to pay a visit Thursday to the scene of the tragedy in the city of Surfside, near the ocean, near Miami Beach, the White House said.

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