4 other victims identified in Florida condo collapse
Updated June 27, 2021, 10:37 p.m. ET
As rescuers continue to search the wreckage in Surfside, Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Sunday evening that rescuers had identified four other victims in the partial collapse of the Chaplain Towers building. South.
Miami-Dade Police published names additional victims on Twitter: Leon Oliwkowiicz, 80; Luis Bermudez, 26 years old; Anna Ortiz, 46 years old; Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74 years old.
So far, authorities have publicly identified eight of the nine victims, aged 26 to 83, including the four victims previously named.
The official death toll is unchanged from earlier Sunday at nine a.m. The number of missing persons is 152, of which 134 are now counted.
Mayor Levine Cava said families of the victims were given the opportunity to visit the site privately on Sunday.
But she said there were families of missing people that detectives were unable to contact. She urged family members who have not filed a missing person report to speak to a detective and have their DNA taken so that it can be compared to any remains found. “It will be of crucial importance for our identification,” she said.
During the same press conference, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett was asked about the minutes of a November 2018 meeting first reported by NPR, in which a City of Surfside inspector met with the residents of the building and assured them that the building was “in very good condition”.
It was a month after a focus group discovered serious problems, warning in an October 2018 report that the building had “major structural damage”.
“I wasn’t there for that,” Burkett said, noting that he was not mayor at the time. He said he asked Surfside officials to find “every piece of correspondence related to this building and put it on our website.”
Mayor Burkett also said the owner of the Champlain North Towers, which is largely identical to the building that collapsed and was built by the same developer at the same time, called on an engineering firm on Tuesday to do a top-down study, using x-rays and ground-penetrating radar. A previous “superficial examination” found nothing immediately abnormal, he said earlier.
Some residents have voluntarily evacuated this building, but there is no mandatory evacuation in place.